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l^nl times i-vi t'oiutws vn ix 

j, B. BURY, M,A,, F.B.A. 8, A* COOK, L)TI\1>. 


Is K. AH COCK, M,A. M, l\ C H AR L K 5 WO R T H, M.A. 


Cambridge University Press 





Maruzen Company Ltd 
All rights reserved 





13344 B.C. 






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^|I^U'P A ! f 



narrative in this volume begins with the Gracchi and ends 
J[ with Caesar* These are the first and last of a succession of men 

whose strength or weaknesses were not readily to be reconciled 
with the control of the State by a tradition-bound aristocracy of 

office. Great as had been the achievement of Senatorial govern- 
ment in solving the problems of foreign policy or in knowing 
when to allow them to solve themselves, its domestic policy had 

become narrow and inertj and the institutions of the Roman city- 
state required, at the least, adaptation to the needs of an empire* 

Within Italy, Rome had neither faced the problems raised by an 
inevitable shifting of economic conditions nor been willing to 
give to her allies the share in her success that their services 

The first of these problems was* in part at least, solved by the 
Gracchi, but in the course of the solution the convention of 
Senatorial government was challenged, so that the sovran ty of the 
Roman People was revived as an overriding force which could be 
invoked, not only for much-needed reform, but in support of 
personal ambitions by those who found themselves in opposition 
to the governing nobility. The equestrian order became a political 
power which could become effective at moments at which its 
financial interests appeared to be threatened. Concessions to the 
claims of the Italian allies at Rome were postponed by a Senatorial 
reaction which reflected the selfishness of the whole citizen-body. 
Problems of defence and of prestige arose which overtaxed the 
self-limited resources of the State. These led to the creation of a 
formidable Fourth Estate in an army professional in recruiting 
and sentiment The Senatorial government failed to provide this 
army with commanders who were always loyal to the existing 
order and left it to look to powerful generals for the final rewards 
of its service. An army which might not obey the SenatCj an 
Italy which had come to resent its exclusion from the Roman 
franchise) and a group of politicians and soldiers who were denied 
a career by the influence of the ruling families endangered the 
domestic power of the government* Then followed the Social 
War^ in which part of the Italians fought for a full entry into the 
Roman State while part strove to reverse the verdict which hi4 
made Rome the mistress of Italy* By fighting and by concessions 


the Senate averted disaster. An extension of the franchise made 
peninsular Italy Roman and extended the recruiting ground for 
the new army. Even so, the Senatorial government was grudging 
and maladroit,, so that while its best general, Sulla, was engaged 
in a campaign abroad, the ambitious men of the Opposition en- 
joyed a brief interlude of power. The government had already 
compromised its claim to govern by the use of violence in the 
name of order., and had allowed Sulla to bring his legions within 
the city. Now Sulla returned at the head of his army of the Kast 
and restored Senatorial government by the wholesale destruction 
of its opponents and their supporters. 

But Sulla was no mere reactionary. He recognized the duties 
of the government and strove to create a machinery which wouki^ 
enable the Senate to discharge them, secure from the pressure of 
army-commanders and unhampered by the full sovran ty of the 
People and the powers of the Tribunate which the Gracchi and 
his own enemies had called into activity. But to achieve his ends 
he created a dictatorship which pointed straight to a Republican 
autocracy, and no sooner had Sulla abdicated than there sprang 
up dangers which refuted his calculations. The army had not 
been made the servant of the State; the Senatorial government 
was forced to look for military skill to men who were impatient 
of its control; in Italy itself there was a formidable revolt of 
gladiators and slaves. Within eight years of Sulk's death, two of 
his lieutenants, Crassus and Pompcy, joined forces to impose 
upon the Senate the partial destruction of the Sultan constitu- 
tional reforms* The Tribunate regained its power to thwart or 
reverse the policies of the Senate. The failure to provide any 
means by which the extension of the franchise led to the repre- 
sentation of Italy as a whole left the decision of questions to what 
was called the Roman People, but was in the main the venal and 
disorderly populace of a single city, 

Then followed a decade of intrigue at Rome during which 
Lucullus and Pompey dealt with the enemies of Rome in the 
East. The methods by which Sulla had crushed his enemies and 
had settled in Italy veterans who failed to cultivate the farms 
which had been seized for them, left ample discontent and the 
means of fomenting it. Bribery had become the road to office, 
which was no longer the preserve of a group of families; successful 
bribery led to the exploitation of provinces., unsuccessful bribery 
to debt and a readiness for revolution- The career of Pompey 
pointed the way to the ambitious* To allay these dangers Cicero 
strove to bring about a union of hearts between the Senate and 


the steady substantial citizens of Italy. But the attempt^ beset as 
it was by civilian illusions, failed. 

Pompey returned from a great command which broke with the 

traditions of the State to be thwarted by the Senate. The result 

was a coalition in which a new figure Caesar- found a place. 
What is called the First Triumvirate aimed at the satisfaction of 
ambition together with the reform of administration in despite of 

the Senate. For a time the coalition dominated Roman politics, but 
the satisfying of Crassus' ambition ended him in the deserts of 
Mesopotamia, while the satisfying of Caesar's ambition procured 

him a strong and devoted army, though it won Rome a province. 
Thus was prepared the way for an armed contest between Caesar 
and a government which, with Pompey's help, wished to treat 
him worse than it had treated Pompey on his return from the 

East. The decision lay with the armies, and the decision fell in 

favour of Caesar, who established an autocracy, Republican in 
form, but inconsistent with the ancient traditions of the Republic* 
This autocracy perished with Caesar on the Ides of March, and 
his death left Rome still faced by her constitutional problem. 
Neither in the predominance of a tribune like (rams Gracchus, 
nor in a restoration of Senatorial control like that carried through 
by Sulla, nor in the dictatorship of Caesar was any lasting solution 
to he found. For it cannot be said that either the success or the 
death of Caesar marked the end of the Republic or inaugurated a 
permanent monarchical form of government. Moments in the 
career of Pompey foreshadowed a compromise between the Senate 
and a protector who would give it security and a full share of 
power* But the decisive answer to the question how 'Rome was to 
rule the world in peace was given not by Pompey or by Caesar 
hut by Augustus. At last there came the man who answered the 
riddle of the Sphinx rightly and survived. But the answer was 
conditioned by the events that followed Caesar's death, and these 
events arc reserved for the following volume> which will have as 
its theme the first working out of the Principate. 

The inheritance of the Republic passed to the Priticipate un- 
challenged in a world that longed for peace and security under a 
strong hand* In the ninety years that lie between the beginning and 
the end of this volume Rome had shown clearly enough that, despite 
political and military blunders* she stood without a rival in power. 
Even when a narrow and selfish policy roused the Italian allies of 
Rome to revolt, the Romans had known well how to fight and where 
to yield* The pro-occupation of Rome In this domestic crisis per- 
mitted the threat of a movement of the East against her* but the 


threat was warded off, as it were with one hand ? until the time 
came when Mithridates, the leader of this movement, could he 
defeated and crushed. Under negligent Senatorial government 
the Mediterranean had become infested with pirates* A single 
campaign delivered the seas, and Pompey passed on to make si 
settlement of the East which established Roman power firmly and 
allied with it the sentiment of the Hellenistic communities. At 
the close of the second century Italy had to fear an invasion by 
barbarians from the North; fifty years later the frontier of her 
empire had reached the English Channel and the Rhine, liven 
in domestic affairs the work of Gains Gracchus, of Sulla and still 
more that of Caesar showed that the administrative genius and 
political resource of the Roman aristocracy had not perished. The 
Civil War itself strengthened rather than weakened the military 
establishment of the Republic and proved beyond doubt ^ the 
supremacy of legions in the field. The King of Parthia might 
contemplate the standards of a Roman army defeated at Carrhat% 
but the world was well aware that in Rome and Italy it must find 
its masters* By the side of civil wars and defeats, misgovernment 
and the corruption of politics must be set a series of achievements 
of which any people might be justly proud 3 so that neither Rome 
nor the world despaired of the Republic* When Augustus laid 
the foundations of the Prineipate ? he was building on a political 
prestige and a military predominance which the vicissitudes of the 
previous century had failed to destroy, 

Far steadier was the advance of Roman art and letters* With 
the union of Italy in a more than political sense there had already 
arisen a truly national Roman art ? which fused with itself Ktruscan 
Greek and Samnite forms* From the time of Sulla onwards the 
city itself had begun to assume a dignity not unworthy of it& 
primacy* Latin poets not only wrote in the manner and spirit of 
the Greeks, but developed the resources of their own language so 
as to make possible the triumphs of the Augustan age. In a city 
which was becoming ever more cosmopolitan^ and "receptive of 
ideas from the Greek East, Roman culture came to have a meaning 
of its own, and Cicero was beyond all doubt the greatest man of 
letters of his day. Nor did he stand alone, The erudition of Varro 
was no more than an extreme form of the scholarship 
by many members of the Roman aristocracy. The last century 
a half of the Republic witnessed a modernization of Roman law 
which, Although it^owed something to Greek thought and to the 
regulation of relations between citizens and foreigners, the 

achievement of native Roman jurisprudence. From the Gracchi 


onwards there appears a succession of orators who added grace to 
the force and mother wit that belonged to the Roman character* 

It is true that these talents were too often the servants of malignity 
and partisanship. Beneath the formal urbanity of Cicero's corre- 
spondence may be seen not only the subtlety the vanity and the 
tact of Cicero himself but the hard pride and egotism of the nobles 
of his day. In an age of constant reuds, of venality, and of ruth- 
lessness many of the finest spirits of Rome were the victims of 
baser men. But the administrative and military capacity of the 
Romans approved itself again and again. With all their faults,, old 
and new, they were still the shrewdest and strongest among the 

Outside the area of Roman activity there were signs of the 
future. The close of the second century had witnessed a transient 
intrusion of barbarians from the North into Mediterranean lands, 
The obscure movements which set peoples adrift were felt on the 
northern borders* In the region of the Black Sea Greek cities 
found themselves threatened more and raore > and were saved by 
the help of the new power of Pontus. In Asia Minor this power 
came to overshadow its neighbours while new forces. Eastern in 
character, asserted themselves against the Western element in 
Hellenism. The Seleucid monarchy dwindled and vanished. 
Within the borders of Palestine the Jewish national State de- 
veloped the setting of religious ideas in which Christianity was to 
arise* In Hgypt the Ptolemaic dynasty preserved a faded troubled 
reign, rarely loved at home and in constant danger of annexation 
by Rome. Farther east there had arisen a new power* Iranian 
nomads from the steppes beyond the Caspian were welded together 
into a people by the skill and force of the dynasty of the Arsacids 
and won an empire at the expense of the failing Hellenistic 
kingdoms of the feast* The rise of this power was timely*- During 
the last three decades of the second century wide-spread disloc- 
ations of peoples from China to the Oxus brought a flood of 
nomads pressing hard against the eastern frontiers of the Hellen- 
istic world. To the new Parthian State belongs the credit for 
breaking and thrusting back these peoples. Thus a warrior race 
from the North became the rulers of what had once been the heart 
of the Persian Empire, borrowing the machinery of government 
from the Seleucids and using rather than absorbing culture from 
the hellenism of their subjects and neighbours and the brief 
revival of Babylonian civilization* This aristocratic monarchy* 
with its one native accomplishment of war s came into contact 
with Rome when Lrucullus and Pompey carried the arms of the 


Republic to the Tigris and the Euphrates. Crassus made Rome an 
active enemy of Parthia; Caesar meditated at least a demonstration 
that the secret of victory was with the West. The stage was set for 
a long though not equal rivalry between the Empire ami the 
Parthian Monarchy* 

In the economy of the volume military history has jn general 
been subordinated to political history so that many interesting 
problems of topography have been left almost or entirely ^in- 
discussed. Where the necessity for this, imposed by considerations 
of space, has led to any appearance of dogmatism in a field in \vhich 
certainty is often unattainable the responsibility rests with the 
editors rather than with the contributors* A sketch of the literary 
authorities is given in order to enable readers to make a rough 
evaluation of the sources mentioned in the notes at the beginning 
of the chapters and in the Bibliography, in this sketch there 
are points^ especially of detail, which are controversial, ami the 
Appendix does not claim to do more than to serve its declared 
purpose. The chapters on Pontus and its neighbours and on 
Parthia follow the general practice of this work in including that 
part of their history which precedes their effective entry into the 
history of the ancient world as a whole. The religious movements 
in the Roman world during the close of the Republic and the 
beginning of the Principate will be reviewed in volume x. In lhc % 
Bibliographies the ancient sources for the main political narrative 
have been given more by general reference than by detailed 
citation* The modern literature, indeed, on the main topics of the 
volume is so considerable that it has been necessary to proceed by 
rigorous selection. For special topics more elaborate and inde- 
pendent information is supplied, 

In the present volume the political history of Rome front the 
Gracchi to the departure of Pompey to the East is narrated by 
Mr Hugh Last (chapters MV and vivn). The military history 
of this period is written by the same author^ apart from the Social 
War, Sulla's campaigns in Italy and the war against Scrtorius* 
which are described by Mr R. Gardner. Professor RostovtxefF 
contributes the account of Pontus and her neighbours in chapter v, 
Professor Ormerod the narrative of the Mithridatic Wars before 
the advent of Pompey and of the operations against the pirates of 
the Levant (in chapters v and via). In chapter vin Dr Gary has 
described the contemporary history of Ptolemaic Egypt and 
Pompey's settlement of the B;ast* Dr Bdwyn Bcvan has continued 
his account of the Jews in chapter DC; in chapter x Mr G. IL 


Stevenson treats of the extension, protection and government of 

the Provinces. The narrative of political history is resumed in 
chapters XT and xn ? which are written by Dr Gary, Of the two 
succeeding chapters that on Parthia is by Dr Tarn, that on the 
Conquest of Gaul is by Mr C. Hignett. In chapters xv xvn 
Professor Adcock describes the events that preceded the Civil 
War, the war itself and the Dictatorship of Caesar, The chapter 
on literature in the Age of Cicero is by Mr Sikes, that on 
Ciceronian Society by Professor Wight Duff. Mrs Strong con- 
tributes chapter xx on the Art of the Roman Republic, Professor 
de Zulueta chapter xxi on the Development of Law under the 
Republic, For those parts of the Appendix on literary authorities 
which are concerned with the first half of the volume we are 
indebted to Mr Last who also contributes Notes 13 ; Note 4 is 
by Professor Ormerod, Notes and 6 are by Professor Adcock. 

The first duty of the Editors is to thank the contributors for 
their co-operation and for the help which they have generously 
given on matters allied to the subjects of their chapters. Professor 
Rostovtzcff wishes to express his obligations to Professor !Lam- 
brino and Professor Oliverio, who permitted him to make 'use of 
material then unpublished. Dr Bevan wishes to thank Dr C. J* G. 
Montefiorc and Professor W. O. E. Oesterley for valuable 
criticism and suggestions. Dr Tarn desires to acknowledge his 
indebtedness for assistance to M, Cumont, Professor Rostovteeff, 
Dr < ;. K I lill, Mr Sidney Smith and Mr C. J. GaddL Mrs Strong 
wishes especially to thank Professor A. Boethius, Professor de 
Zulueta desires to express his gratitude to Professor BucklancU 
Finally, Professor Adcock is obliged to Dr Xam 3 Dr Gary and 
Mr Last for constructive criticisms^ which he greatly appreciates. 

The volume is indebted to contributors for the bibliographies 
to their chapters and for their share in the preparation of maps, to 
Mr Last for Maps 4 and 5* to Mr Gardner for Maps 6 and io> 
to Professor Ormerod for Map 7^ to Dr Cary for Map n, to 
Mr Hignett for Map 1 3 and to Dr Tarn for Map 14. Mr Charles- 
worth is responsible for Maps a and 9 and for Map ia in con- 
sultation with Mr Stevenson, .Professor Adcock for Map 8, in 
consultation with Professor Rostovtzcff, and for Maps i , 3, 1 5, 16, 
j 7 and 18* For the geographical detail of Map 9 we are indebted 
to Messrs Macmillan, for that of Maps 15 and 17 to Messrs 
Wagner and Dcbes, Leipzig, for Map 18 to the Imprimerle 
Nationalc, Paris* We have to thank Mrs Strong for drawing up the 
Sheet of Plans, and the Oxford University Press for Plan I, 
Dr R. Delbrucck of Bonn and Messrs Walter de Gruyter & Co.* 


Berlin, for Plan 2 3 the Ufficio Antichitk e Belle Arti of the Gover- 
natorato of Rome for permission to use their plan of the temple 
of the Largo Argentina (Plan 3), Messrs Julius Springer, Berlin, 
for Plan 4, and Professor Lugli and Messrs Danesi, Rome, for 
Plan 5. We owe much to Mr Seltman for his assistance with the 
reproduction of the plans and for his ready co-operation in the 
illustration of the volume. The fourth Volume of Plates, which Iir 
is preparing, will illustrate this and the following volume ami will 
be published at the same time as Volume Ten* For the illustration 
of the chapter on Roman Republican Art we arc greatly indebted 
to Mrs Strong, who in turn wishes to express her appreciation of 
the courteous assistance of scholars who have supplied her with 
valuable material for illustrations. Specific acknowledgments will 
be made to them in due form in the Volume of Plates, 

Dr Tarn has drawn up the table of Parthian Kings and pre- 
pared the Genealogical Tables of the Ptolemies and Selcwids, 
which are taken with slight modifications from volume vn* Pro- 
fessor Rostovtzeff has supplied the material far the list of Kinps 
of Pontus: Mr Charlesworth is responsible for the lists of the 
dynasties so far as they are not those published in volume vu, for 
which we have also to thank Dr Tarn* The General Index and 
Index of passages are the work of Mr B* Benham, whose care has 
been of constant assistance to the Editors* Finally it should he 
said that our task has been much the lighter far the skill and 
resource of the Staff of the University Press, 

The Director of the Museum at Naples has permitted us to 
reproduce on the cover the head of Caesar from the statue in that 
Collection, the work of art which probably presents, more nearly 
than any other, the authentic features of the Dictator at the height 
of his power* 

RE, A, 





Fellow of St John's College, Oxford? and University lecturer In Roman History 




The legacy of war ,....* 3 

Saturn! a Tettus *......,. 4 

Investors and the Land ........ 6 

Unemployment and the constitution . 9 


*KJng Antiochus* , . , , 13 

The Roman recover/ ...,.,. 15 

IV* THE Aom Fvxucus ......... 16 

The public land .-,...... 17 

The Bitting tenants . . . , , . , . 1 8 


The Influence of M elks .<,,.*,* 21 

VI. THE MGKAMA ..,,.,... 22 

The land-bill ......... 22 


Opposition to the bill ,,...., 2$ 

The functions of the tribunate ,,,. 26 

Conntitutiotial innovation ....,. 27 


The conuniHsioncrH at work . , . . . , 30 


The re-election of'tribunca . , - * * . 35 

X. THK DKATH op TniRRttw CiRAccHtrs * . t . * 34 

Lynch" law .,..,. 35 


The Senates revenge * * , . * , * * 36 

IV ft<*rnmth -' * * , * * * 38 





Stirrings in Italy 4 




Scipio and the land-board . . . . * - - 4 Z 

The deatli of Scipio 44 


The outlook of the allies . . . . . . * 4 

Fregellae 4 K 


Clues to the chronology . . . . . - S * 

The growth of the programme . . , . . . s^ 

The chronological scheme . . , . . . '< 4 


Old scores . . . . . 
The State and the food-supply . 


The law of re-election . . 


The army and the provinces , , 
The revenues of Asia . . . 


The land-board again ... 
Colonies in Italy ..* 



Opposition ........ . 71 

The schemes of Livlus Drustas . , . . . , 7 B * 

XL JUNONIA ........... 71 


The courts again ...., * . , y$ 

The reform of the extortion-court .....* 76 


Gracchus and Italy ....... . 7*1 

Enfranchisement defeated . . * . , , , H 

GRACCHOS *...... . Mj 

The fall of Gracchus ....... f HJ 

The *last decree' . ... ^4 

* Sa/us pQpu/i supreme lex"* , . , . . , , Mft 

The Senate's gain . , , , , , , UH 


The menace of the Gracchi . . . f ^ 

The presage for the future , , . , m 


The emergence of Maritis . ^ 

The consulship of Scawrtaa .... c^i 


Problems of the public land -...,,, c 
The land-law of 1 1 1 B.C. * 





The will of Attains III . . ..... 102 

Aristonicus . . . . . . , .103 

The province of Asia ........ 106 

Wars in the Balkans . . . . . .108 


The defence of Massilia . . . . . , .no 

Gallia Transalpina , , * . .112 


The composition of Sallust j s work . . . . . .1x5 


The Numidian, dynast/ . . , , , . .117 

The rise of jugurtlia . . . . , . 118 

Roman failures * . * , * . . . .121 


The battle of the Mutfaul * . . . . . ,123 

The achievements of Mctdlud . . * . . .124 

VII. THE CAMPAIGNS OF MARIUS . . . * . . .125 

Mar! us takes the field . * * . . . , i z6 

The end of Jugurtha * . , . * . .129 

The scttlcituunt iu Africa * , * , * * 130 


The iiprm^s of Roman policy . . * * 132 

The recruitment of the legions . * m ,134 

The army a profession . * , , . , .136 

(Jpti mates and Populates . , . .138 


The Germans in motion * * * w ,140 

The invaders in Gaul * . . * , . * ,142 

The disaster at Araimo * * . * 144 

The organisation of the legion * . - . * .146 

The annihilation of the Teutoni t * * * 148 

The victory of Vercclkc - * , . , 1 50 


Palma and PoUentia - * , . . .1555 

Salvlus and Allienion . . * . . * ,154 
Sicily at peace again . , f . . , 1 5" 



and R, GARDNER, JVLA* 1 

Fellow of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, and University Lrrnitrr in O,iv.i<^ 



The defeated generals . . . . . .*<;<) 

Grimen matestatis minutae . . . . . * . 1 60 


The extortion-court again . . . . . . ,162 


A pinchbeck Gracchus . * . . . ,16^ 

The penalty of reaction , * . * * ,167 

Policy without ideals . . . . * . . z(*H 

Violence disowned * - , * . * . 171 


Safeguards against demagogy . * * . . , .17,1 

Proprietary imperialism * . * * * , .17^ 

The courts and the Empire . * . . . . 1 76 

V. THE TRIBUNATE OP M. LIVIUS Datwus THE yotmc;KK . * .177 

The programme of Drusus * * * . * 17 If 

The rewards of compromise . , . . * , 1 80 

The methods of politics * . ^ * ti$ 


The Italians in arms * * . * * , . iH^ 

Italian organization, arid resources , . , , , i hf 

The northern campaign , . * , , i #y 
Roman reverses .*..*...,! 90 

The southern campaign , , , . t .192 


The franchise legislation * . . , 4 , , 1 94 

The fall of Asculum . . . t . . .197 

The victories of Sulk . . * . , , . , 1 99 


The lack of statesmen . , . , . u^t 

A tribune with a policy , , , # . , , 4*j 

The old met n ness to the allies , , , . , , /aj 

IX* THE pfKST cON$uidHXp OP SSUTIXA *,.,. , ao6 

Politics under military control .-,,, 407 

First-aid to the constitution . . . , , , .109 

1 Sections i-v and VIIMX aw by Mr last, section* vi-va by Mr Uwrctiwr * 




BY M. Ro$TOVT7<KFF, Hon. Litt.D. (Cantah.), Hon. D.Litt. (Oxon.), 
Hon. Litt.D. (Wisconsin), 

Professor of Ancient History In Yale University? 
and !L A. ORMEROD, M.A., F.S.A., 

Rathbone Professor of Ancient History in the University of Liverpool 1 


The land and its products . . . . .212 
Social and economic structure . . , . . .214. 

1L TlIB MlTHRIDATID DYNASTY . . . . . , 2l6 

The founding of the dynast/ * . . . . . ,217 

Early expansion in Asia Minor - . * , . ,219 

The ambitions of Phamaces - . . . . . .220 

The general lines of Pontic policy . . . , . .222 

Religion and art . . . . . . . . .224 


Northern policy of Mithridates . . . . . ,227 

The Scythians and the Crimea . . . . . ,228 

The expeditions of Diophantus . . . * . .230 

The Black Sea province . . . , . . .232 

Bithynia and Cappadocia ,....., 234 

Shortlived expansion in A$ia Minor . . * . * 236 


!I< k nitation of Mitliri dates ....*.. 239 

The conquest of Asia * * . . - . 241 

The siege of Rhodes ....*... 243 

VJ, THE WAR IN GREECE ,,,...* 244 

The advance to Greece . . * . . 24 ; 

f Fhc siege of Athens and the Piraeus . 246 

Operations in Central Greece ....* 249 

1 he tattle of Chatjronea . , , . . . ,,250 
The battle of OrchomenuR . . . a? 3 


The arrival of Fkccus , . . . * . 255 

Fim brin in Asia Minor . * , - . * ^57 

The settlement m Asia Minor - * . . - ,259 

* Section* i-iv are by ProfcMor Rotovtxeffi sections V-VOT by Professor Ormerod, 





OF ROME **" 

Cinna besieges Rome , , . . - - - .-*>.? 

II. THE DOMINATION OF ClNNA ....... * ( **\ 

The mice at play . . - - . /.^^ 

A sub at Sulla's back , . . . - . . .^7 
Italy a nation ..... /r$K 

III. THE RETURN OF SULLA ........ **<* f ? 

Sulla and the Italians . , . . . - - ,271 


Sulla's advance : Sacriportus . . - - -73 

Northern campaigns: Pnicneste . . . - - *74 

The Collimi Gate: proscriptions . . , , . . **7** 


Pompey in Sicily and Africa . . . . . , .278 


Sulla Felix .,..*... **n 


The new dictatorship .*,,,.., 
Sulla's task **,.* 


Recruiting an aristocracy ..,.., 

IX. THE j^z?jy ANNALIS ......... 

The favourites of the mob ....... 

The magistrates under control ...*. 


The tribunes made Jutrmless ....... 


The provincial governors .....*, 
Controlling the executive ,.,... 


Administrative changes . 

The censorship and the assemblies .*..., j^.^'i 

XIII. SULLA AND ITALY , . . . , , , |wi 

Sulla and his troops ...... , \^z 


Criminal justice . . , m % . , , , IM^ 
The indicia publics -......, ^>7 


The end of the dictatorship . . . , . t V^J 
The menace of the assemblies ...... |ic> 

1 Sections r-wi and v-xv are by Mr Last* section IV h by Mr C3mliwr 







II. M. AKMILIUS LEFIDUS . . . . , . . .314 

Premonitory rumblings . . . . . . . .315 

The fatal blunder . , . . . . . .316 



Unrest in Spain . . , . . . . . .319 

Scrtori us master of Spain . . . . . . .321 

The vicissitudes of warfare . . . . . . .322 

The personality of Serlorius . . . . . . .325 


Liberalism in the Senate . . . - .327 

The weakness of the tribunes . . * . 32$ 


Crassiis in the Held . . . . , . .331 


The army in politics again . . . . - * - 333 

The corruption of the courts . . . . * . 335 

The scandal of Verres . . . . . * . -33" 

The Lei Amelia Judieiaria ....... 340 


Coriu*]iu5 and the edicts . . . . . . 343 

The tribunate at its best * , , . . . 344 

IX. THE COMMANDS OF POMEPBY . . . * * * -345 

A st<;p towards monarchy , . . . . . .347 

The doom of the Republic ,,... 349 


BY H* A. 

and M, CART^ DJJtt, 
in Andeui History in the University of London 3 

f. TlIK I*1RA'1'KS OF ClLtCIA * - . . . * 35 

The growth of piwy . . . * . * . 350 

Murcna in Aaia . . 

I-HI and v -tx as by Mr Litit, section iv is by Mr Gardner. 
* Sections i-vi are by Professor 0rmrod* tecticmft vn~x by Dr Gary. 




Campaigns in Southern Asia Minor . - - ,*s4 


Milliri dates' preparations for war . . - - - 3^7 

The outbreak of war . . . - -3^ 

The siege of Cyssicus * . . * * j fin 

The advance into Pontus . * - 3^3 
The conquc\st of Pontus .*..- 3^4 


The battle of Tigranocerta - - - - - 3 6 ' 1 

Invasion of Armenian highlands . - * - 3'**' 

Mi thri dates recovers Pontus . . . . - - 37 ^ 


Depredations of the pirates . . . - - 3 7 3 

The reduction of piracy . . . . * - 374 

VII. PoMPEY*S CAMPAIGNS IN 66 B.C. . * - -37^ 

Roman alliance with Parthia . - - - * -577 

Final defeat of Mithridatos . . - . ,37^ 

VIII. POMP EV*S LATER CAM PATCjfNS . . . - * -3^^ 

Pompcy's progress to Syria . . . . .3^1 

Capture of Jerusalem by Ponipcy . . * . 3 ^ * 

IX. EGYPT .......... 3< H 3 

Reign of Ptolemy Physcon . . . . * . .3^4 
Dynastic discords in Egypt . * , . 
Attitude of Rome to Egypt - . . . * 

Death of Mithridates . . . . . * 

Pompey's territorial settlement . . , , 

Pompey's financial settlement . - . . 


BY E. R. BEVAN, Hon. Litt.I). (Oxtw.)j Hon, LI,D, (St A 
Hon. Fellow of New Oil Iegc y Oxfbnij an<l lecturer in Hcilrnmtir Hi**iiry 
and literature at K.iiig'V Colleges J^oiulcm 


Aristobulus J and Jamiaeus . - , . , , ^;H 

Salome, Hyrcanus II, Aristobulus JI , . , , , 4111 

The coming of Rome . . . , , * 4*) 4 

Herod and Antigonus * . - * , . , .40^ 


Early Pharisaism a problem ..,... 406 

The Scribes and the Synagogue ...... 4*^ 

The tradition of the Elders * . , . ,411 

The Pharisees as a body . , . . . 4 1 i 

The Sadducees , . , m t % 4 1 i; 

New things in Pliarxsaism * . . * # . ,416 




Apocalypses and eschatology . . . . . * ,419 
Belief in evil spirits ,...,.. 420 


The 'New Covenant* 423 

The Essenes .,.....,. 424 

V* THE SAMARITANS . . . * . , , ,427 


The Dispersion, the Septuagint . . , .429 

Philo of Alexandria . , . . , , . 43 r 

Antiscraitism . . . . . . . . 433 

Propaganda amongst Gentiles * . . . . ,434 



Fellow of University College, Oxford, and University Lecturer in Ancient History 

Slow growth of tlxe Empire . . * , . . ,438 
The first provinces ........ 440 

Annexations aftor 146 .c* ....... 442 


Military system ....,,,.. 444 

Inadequate frontier defence ,*.... 447 
Spain insufficiently garrisoned . . 449 

Neglect of the navy . , . , , . .451 

III. THE pRoviKciAt COVHRNOR ..*... 

The length of governorships * * ..... 453 
The pro-magistracy * * . . . ,454 

Method of appointing governors *,*,* 456 
Restrictions on governors ..... . .459 

Duties of governors , . ..... ,461 


Italy and the, provinces ....... 463 

The principle of alliance . ..... 464 

Loral government ,,.. 466 

. . ....... 468 

* * . * * . . * .470 

V, C0NCLWIOH ,..., 472 






Character and ambitions of Catiline . . - * |7^ 


The political methods of Crassus . . . . - -479 

Crassus* plans for Spain and Egypt . . . - . . 4 ^ u 


Catiline and Cicero . * . . - ,482 

IV. THE LAND BILL OF RliJXtlS . . . . - - | ^4 

Cicero as watchdog of the Republic . . * . .481; 

V", CAESAR'S PROPAGANDA . . * * * ,48** 

Caesar's gamble for advancement . , . . * .487 

Political trials . . . . . * , . 4 m > 

The case of Rabirius . . * *f9 n 

VI. NOF^E ^ABULdE . , , . . - 49 J 

The debt question at Rome . . . - . . | | \ 


Catiline's accomplices . . . . . - . 4*1 1 

Catiline remains at large , . . * . . 4^' 


$$# usque tandem? . . , * . 4^8 

The trapping of accomplices - . . . . . ^**i 


The debate on the prlsoru:rs . . , - . , . ;*,? 

The manifestos of MctcJlus . , . . . . <j | 




I. THE CONCORD IA ORDINUM . . . , . , , . <j**6 

Cicero as a political rcforuutr ...... t ^cifi 

IL PoMFET^S HOME-COMXNC , . . , . , , ^1^7 

Pompej disbands his army , . . , , ' S. |f | 

Pompey rebuffed by the Senate . . ,, , , i^iri 


Caesar's coalition with Pompey . % , lj < ^ 


Caesar's rst Latid Law . . . . . , , p 5 

Legislation of Caesar and Vatinius . * . . ij i j 

Caesar's Gallic command . * * 4 , 1 1 g 

The affair* Vettiwa . , 



V. PUBLIUS CLODIUS . . . . . . . . .522 

The legislation of Clodi us . , . . . . ,523 

The banishment of Cicero . . . . . . 

VI. PoMPEV's RALLY . . . . . . . ,527 

Clodius* attack upon Pompey . . . . . ,528 

The recall of Cicero . . . . . . . .529 

Pompey and the Egyptian question . . . . - 53 r 


Attacks upon the triumvirate . . . * . . - S3 3 

The conference of "Luca . , . . . .534 


Fellow of Hertford College, Oxford 


FIRST t*KNTITRV B.C. . . . . . . . . ,537 

The CVlts in Gaul and Britain ...... 538 

The religion of the Gauls . . , . . . ^41 
Origin of the Druidic doctrines ...... 54^ 

Roman policy in Transalpine Gaul . . . .54*; 

The Holvotii decide to emigrate ... , . . . 1^47 
Otesar's designs In $9 B.<:. ....* 1^49 

Iff. TUK MIMTARY <H:t:tn*ATioN 01' OAUI* . - * * * #550 

The tlffcsit of the 1 f clvotn . . , . . - ,551 

Th <?t*nnuns expelled from Gaul . . . . ^3 

The victory over the Nervii . . * . . . 

C?alli<* jU'ft-powcT drstroyoiJ . , . . * . 

crcmcs the Rhine . , . , . , 


Caesar in Britain . . , . . . . . 

The: dwiiater at Atimtuca .,.. $6$ 

Causes of the great re vtilt * . . , * . 565 


CjcTgovIa * . . . . , * . 5^7 

AlfHiit ,..*...... 569 


* . , , * * 571 

Results of the conquest , .,,,... 57^ 




BY W. W. TARN, Litt.D., K.B.A 
sometime Scholar of Trinity College, 

I. THE EARLY KINGS . , . * * * \7 4 

The foundation of the kingdom - * . . s7*J 

The early kings ......... $?' 


Conquests of Mithridates I . . - - - . <rj 

Demetrius II, Antiochxis Sidetos . . , . . ;Ho 


The Saca invasion . . . . . . . . ^ K ^ 

Himcrus. Defeat of the Sacas . . . . . 

Mithridates II. His successors . . . . . 


The Farthians. Court, language . . . . . . 

Administration. Coinage . . . . - . 

Towns, calendar, religion . . . * * . . 
The Greek cities . . * . . 

Greek letters. Babylonia ...*., 
Intercourse and trade routes . * * , , 
Art ....**.. . , 
The army ....*..... 


Armenia . . . , * . . t 
Orodes II. Crassus *... . , 


Crassus and S arenas .....,, 
Crassus' march. Carrhae ...... . 

Death of Crassus . , . . . , 6 1 1 

List of Parthian Kings - . M . 6 1 j 


By F. E. ADCOCK, M.A* Hon. IXUtt. (Durham) 

Fellow of King 11 College and PrnfcMfor of Ancient Hfetory 

in the University of Cambridge 


Pompey and Crassus as reformers . . . ] ! 615 

The provincial commands * , ^ ^ w ,617 

The departure of Crassus . , , . * ! 619 



II. GROWING ANARCHY ......... 620 

Causes ciMres . . . . . . . . .621 

The death of Grasses . . . . . . .622 

The de "Rg pub lie a and de Le gibus . . , . . .623 


The death of Clodius ........ 625 

Pompey*s laws ......... 627 


Ponipey in 51 B.C. ........ 630 

The Senate and Caesar . . . * . . . . 63 1 

V. THE FINAL CRISIS . . , . . , . . . 633 

The tactics of Curio ........ 634 

Pompey decides . , . . . . . . .635 

Caesar's ultimatum . . . . . . . .636 

The constitutional question , . . . . . .637 




I, THE SEIZURE OF ITALY . . . , . . . . ,638 

Cacsar T s opportunity . . . . . . . 639 

Offers and counter-oilers ..... 640 

The seizure of Pleemim ....... 641 

Domitius at Corfmiimi *...... 642 

Pompey escapes from Italy ...*... 643 

Ponipi'ian strategy ... 645 

f rh<* conditions of warfare ....... 647 

II. ILERPA ANI> MAHHILIA ........* 648 

Ilcrda ..,.....*.. 649 

MassilLi . * . . . ..,. 

III. CURIO IN AFRICA * . . . , * . . . 651 

The defeat of Curio . . . . - * * .652 
Poixipcian succes$e3 in the Adriatic . - * * * 653 


Caesuras first dictatorship - . . . * . 655 

Cat*iar*s crossing . . * . , . . * 657 

Antony's crossing . , . . * . ,659 
Dyrrliachium * - . * . * . . .661 

V. PHAKHALUJI **,.*.**. 662 

The march to Theasaly **...* 663 
f Flic battle of Flmralus , * . . * , .665 
^rhc wair at sen ,.....-. 666 

VI. CAKHAR AT ALEXANDRIA * ..,,...* 667 

The death of Fctntpey . * - . . * . .668 
Caesar and Cleopatra . . * * * * * 671 
Caesar 9 * deliverance .,*,*.. 673 

Rome in Caesar *s absence * * - . * 675 



Domltlus and Pharnaccs 
Caesar and Pharnaccs 


The Pompeians in Africa 

Caesar in Africa . . 
Ruspina . - . 
Thapsus ... 
Fictrlx causa , . 




The hope of reconciliation ....... fM}, 

An absent autocrat ........ f?*f 

II. CAESAR'S LEGISLATION - * . . . . . . ^ I *|H 

Reforms ,,...,.. . f>^ 

The Table of Heraclca , ....... ^*t)^ 

Projects for Italy . . . . . . . . 7^1 

III. MXJNDA .....-.,. . ,7U,! 

The last battle . . . . , . , . ,71*5 
Caesar as a soldier . , * . . . **o.| 

IV. COLONIES AND CITIZENBHU* . - . * . . . 7 Ml t 

Military settlements . . . , , , 7* >t* 

Colonies ......,.,, 708 

An Italian army . . . . . . . . 7 1 * > 


Caesarian finance . * , . * . . *7li 

Parthia and Syria * . , . . * , ,714 

Dacia . . . . . * . , , ,71^ 

The armies of the West * , , . , . 7 j 7 


The evidence for deification . , . . . , ,719 
Approximations to deification ....... 7 jeu 

Caesar and Hellenistic monarchy - , ,711 
Caesar's will . , . . . , , , . 7 14 

rex &d Caesar . . . . , , ,7/7 

: tribnnuia po 

Caesar and the Senate . . . . ,7^0 

Powers of Caesar'a dictatorship . . , , ,731 


The conspiracy . * , . . , w - 7 H 

The Lupercalia: the Ides of March . , t " 737 

The greatest of the Romania 




By E. E. SIKES, M.A., President of St John's College, Cambridge 

I. GENKRAL ........... 741 

IT, POETRY ........... 742 

The nr\v Roman culture . . . , , . .743 

'Flit? pootry of Cicero ........ 744 

Doc ft furor anhms Lucre fi ....... 746 

The lejirhing of I ,uere.tiiis ....... 748 

Cntullus and the neot erics . . . , . 75* 

The love-poet of the Roman world ...... 753 

Tlif art of Catullus ........ 754 

III. Clt'FRO ANl> THE ORATORK . * . . , . . - 755 

Cirero as a pleader . . , . . . . .756 

Cicero and stylr . . , , , . . 758 

Tlur philosophy of Cicero ,,**. 760 

Cicero's Letters ...* 762 

IV. C. Jnum CAKSJAR ......... 763 

C^aefiiir flu* inm in'fter.s . 764 

V. THE UIHTORSANS *......,... 766 

later annalists ..*.... 766 

...... ..... 767 

........... 769 

VI, VARRO * * . ^ ...... 770 

Varro tlir scholar . 771: 


By J. WIUIIT DUKK, M,A. n.IJtt., I.T,.D V Hon. DXitt, (Durham), RB.A. 

i'rfcaor of C "Lifmi s Arttmixni^ C,!**lir|^ (in the Ihiivertity of Durham) y 

* 773 

llrrriMinil lisi i iifrr^poiutriili* ,.,.. 774 

1L Tut' f*n'!Ai ;MAI)^H ,..*.**. 777 

s|iiilr;^ Piijnilyii Riiinuifi * * 777 

iravittiiiiii of hirtit mid wealth *,*,** 778 

t . * * , * . 780 

r ntic n AV * * * * . * . 781 


,,.*, 7 8 
The ....** 78 

xxviii CONTENTS 



Tiro . . - - . 7K8 

x iru **"* ( * 

V. SOURCES OF LIVELIHOOD . . . * . * -7% 

Roman finances . . . . . ,7^0 
Trade 79 * 


Wealth 7M 

Country houses , * . . * * - .7^4 
Letter-writing . . . * . T^*v 


Readers and critics . . . * . . * . 7>K 
Manners: ethics , . . - . - * Hoc* 

Religion .......... Hux 


By EUGENIE STRONG, C.B.E., M.A.^ littJX (Trln, CoH. t n\ihlin} 

Hon. LL.D. (St Andrews)^ Hem. l-itt.D, (Manrkwr), KS,A. 


GREEKS , . . . . . . . . . Xi*$ 

Italic and Greek elements . , , . , KM$ 

II. EARLY ETRXISCO-! TALK* ART . - . * . * }Wi 

The Romano- Veientane School . . . , ,8417 
Etrusco-Italic art ......... KoH 

The ofresus JStruscus , . . , , , , H i o 


TORIES OF THE REPUBLIC * . . . * . * Hi I 

Later Italic portraiture . * . , , . . . H t * 

Transcripts of death-masks . . , , , K 1 4 

Poat-Sullan portraiture . , . . * , 8 1 6 


Etrusco-Italic reliefs . , , t . , , ,819 

Pracnestinc cistae . . , , , . 4 Hio 


Osco-Samnite art . * . . , , . , * H a ^ 

The art of Campania * * . . , v , . 

Architectural wall-painting , % , g , , Hjt6 
Sculpture in relief * , m , . , , ^ * 




Italic elements In architecture . . . . * . .831 

Tlie Republican city . . . . . . 833 

Republican tombs . . . . . . . .834 

Markets and basilicas . . . . . . . .836 

The Sullan period . . . . . . . .838 

The Rome of Caesar ........ 84.1 


By F. DE 2ULUETA, D.C.L., F.B.A. 

Fellow of All Souls College and Regius Professor of Civil Law 
in the University of Oxford 

Evidence for Republican Jaw ....... 84^ 

IF. THE SOURCES OF LAW ......... 843 

Relative importance of" the sources ...... 844. 

III. THE Rian*BLicAN JURISTS ........ 845 

End of the pontifical monopoly .,,., 847 
Sextus Aelius and the transition . . . , . .848 
Jurists of the end of the Republic . . * . . .850 


The Jtgis aetionts * . . . . - . . - 
Pro-Aebulmn ius practorium . . . . . * 855 

Tcnclcncious literalism * * , . . * . 857 


Free marriage . . . . . - . * .858 
TraJitio * * . * . , , . . .859 
Early history of contract .... 860 

Praetor uid formula . * * . * * * .863 

Nature of ius prac tori urn . . . . * * .865 

VIL THE ws GKNTIUM * ..... 866 

lu$ natural* Equity .*...... 869 

Methods of modernization . . * . . . 87 1 

IX, CfttMINAtlAW .,*...**. 873 

Interdiction * * - . . * * . . 875 

The leges Corncliae . . . * - - ,876 
Specific crimes **.*,** 878 
Sexual offences * * * * * 880 



APPENDIX. The literary Authorities for Roman History, 133-441!.!'. . 882 


1. The date of the Lex Rubria de eolonia, in Africain tU'dtirt'iula Xt;r 

2. TheLexAcilia . S<j.i 

3 . The dates of the Lex Antonia de Tennessihus Maioribus *md f lie 

Lex Plautia de reditu Lepidimorum. . . #<;' 

4. Lucullus 5 operations in the Lycus valley * . . Sj7 

5. Legions In the Civil War . . . . . , %X 

6. The Tri&unJcia Pott Has of Caesar . , * . <j<: 



GENERAL BIBLIOGRAPHY . . , . . . * j' '4 

CHAPTERS 1-1 V, VI- VII ....)*> 

CHAPTER V . . . . , , . , . . V*4 

CHAPTER VIII . . . . . * . . . , *|,r/ 

CHAPTER IX . . . . . . . . o!rj 

CHAPTER X ......,,,.. ^37 

CHAPTERS XI and XII , . . , , - . . O.VJ 

CHAPTER XIII .......... k 1144 

CHAPTER XIV . . . . . , * 1^47 

CHAPTERS XV-XVJI * . . . . * . . . ^^ 

CHAPTER XVIII. .......... *;s*| 

CHAPTER XIX ...,...*.. <jfu 

CHAPTER XX ....,.,.., ^if 

CHAPTER XXI ...*.....,. c;/**/ 

GENERAL INDEX .......... ^7 1 

INDEX TO MAPS . , . , . . . , . .1^07 


1. S. Italy and Sicily ? ACINI; PAM' u 

2. Asia Minor and Syria la 1 33 E.C, . , . . . M n*^ 

3. Greece and the Balkans . , . . . 11*7 

4. North Italy o iOf| 

5. Africa to illustrate the Jugurthine War . * . 117 

6. Central Italy f> ^^ 

7. Asia Minor and Armenia * , . , . , M 
8* The Bosporan Kingdom and its neighbours . . , 
9 Central Greece ....*,., 

I0 < S P ain * * ." I 

u. Map to illustrate Pompey*a Settlement of the But . . t> 


12. The Roman Provinces c. 61 B.C. ..... FACING PAGE 437 

13. Gaul to illustrate Caesar's campaigns . . . . 537 

14. The Parthian Empire in 5 r B.C. . . . . . 612 

15. The campaign of Ilerda ...... 649 

1 6. Africa to illustrate the Civil War . . . . . 651 

17. The campaign of Dyrrhachium ..... 659 

1 8. Alexandria ......... 671 

Plans of Temples ........ 829 

Hellenistic Dynasties ......... AT END 

Genealogical Tables ......... 

Chronological Tables ......... n 




tribunate of Tiberius Gracchus opens a new epoch in the 
JL affairs of Rome. Hitherto her history had been one of wars 
of wars whose outcome, though the Romans had taken arms more 
often in self-defence than for purposes of aggression, was a 

steady extension of Roman authority, first over the Italian peninsula 
and then beyond. Since the end of the third century there had s 
indeed, been a break in the process of annexation, but the interval 

had been so much disturbed by fighting in the Balkan peninsula 
and the East that there had been no opportunity, even if there was 
the inclination, to undertake that drastic re-shaping of the con- 
stitution which alone could fit the Roman State to shoulder the 

obligations of Empire. With the creation of provinces in Africa 
and Greece, annexation began anew; but thenceforward, though 

fresh territory was acquired from time to time, the acquisitions 
were won by fighting of a very minor kind, and that only when 
they were not due to the testamentary arrangements of monarchs 
whose benefactions Rome had somehow managed to attract. To- 
wards the middle of the second century BX. a new era in Roman 
history begins. The triumphs of the younger Africanus over 
Carthage and of L Mummius over the Achaeans bring down the 
curtain on the age 5 : of warfare and expansion; the tribunate of 
Tiberius Gracchus inaugurates a period which finds its theme in 
the domestic history of the city* 

Though it would be untrue to say that Rome had outgrown her 
strength, the events of the century which opens with the destruc- 
tion of Carthage were conditioned by the fact that an empire had 

Nat** Some account of the sources in general fe** the history contained 
in thin Volume will be found in the Appendix, pp. 88$ sqq. The authorities 
for the internal history of Rome from 133 to 66 B,C, are enumerated in 
the Bibliography to Chapters j n, ni xv, vi and vn. Particular sources 
requiring comment are discussed In the text as they become relevant, 

References to Plutarch's Liwtofth* Cyr<sr^A/are^made by the numeration 
of chapters which runs continuously: those to the Life of Gains Gracchus may 
be converted to the other system by deducting 21 from the chapter-number 
here given* Th. SttngPs Cieermh 9r&tiw*um tffa/iVdtar* Vol. HI Is quoted 
** *Stangl* if. 

C.A.H* IX * 


been won at a speed which left no time for its assimilation. New 
provinces had made new demands on u government and an ad- 
ministration inadequate to meet them. The constitution had not, 
indeed, collapsed; but it was already ill-fitted for 5 1^ task, and that 
it continued to work at all was due only to the unfailing resource-- 
fulness of Rome in political expedient. Nor were the effects of 
Empire felt by the constitution alone; the burdens of an imperial 
people, and the wealth which its leaders had amassed, produced 
economic consequences of a kind which called tor drastic treat- 
ment. Rome in fact, when a lull in her military operations jjuvr 
opportunity for a survey of the situation., found herself beset hy 
problems unlikely to be solved in a day. Her constitution and her 
social structure were those of a city-state; but the city-state of 
Rome now found herself mistress of an empire which included the 
whole peninsula of Italy and provinces so remote as Spain* Africa 
and Macedonia. In the history of the fo/is this was something 
altogether new. To meet new needs the old forms demanded more 
than mere adjustment. Political innovation could not be escapett t 
and after long years of experiment the successful innovator was 
found at length in the person of Augustus, But in the second 
century B.C. the time was still far off when the constitutional 
question would be answered by a .Prineipate, whose supreme 
achievement would be to make the empire and its government the 
first call on the energies of Rome* That happy cndinjLf was to he* 
the outcome of another hundred years or more a century which, 
from the violence wherewith the need for change forced itself on 
the attention of the world ? is fitly called the century of revolution. 
For the present, the empire remained as it had been hitherto- ;in 
unparalleled excrescence on the fabric of a city-state. The main 
and most difficult problem the problem of welding />0//jf uiul 
empire into an organic wholewas shelved. The reasons for 
this delay were two. The problem itself had yet to become acute; 
and there were others which, though ICH grave, were* at the time 
more urgent. One of these that of the relations to be muintstinctl 
between Rome and her allies in Italy though C hmm C Gracchus made 
an attempt to face it at least in part,, was only settled by the Social 
War: the other an economic crisis it was the work of Tiberius 
Gracchus to tackle,, and to tackle with sonic measure of success, 


Our authorities for the economic history of Italy during the 
earlier decades of the second century B.C. leave much to be desired. 
The bulk of their information is large: Cato*s fa 

cultura is both contemporary and explicit on the subjects with 
which it deals, and epigraphic monuments yield facts of the 
first importance. Later writers too even though so far re- 
moved in time as Appian and so prone as he to misunderstand 
their sources give evidence which, so far as it can be tested, is 
sound. But all alike describe the reforms, or the difficulties which 
they were designed to meet, rather than the process by which 
these difficulties had been produced. The course of events which 
led up to the crisis of the Gracchan age can be recovered only by 
inference and surmise. Causes which contributed to the final re- 
sult may be divined with confidence, but the relative importance 
of their respective contributions can never be precisely determined. 
The complexity of Italian economic developments during this 
period offers a dangerous temptation. Plausible dogmatism about 
details is easy, but it is forbidden by the nature of the evidence, 
All that is possible is to describe in a general way the position 
which Tiberius Gracchus was inspired to face, and to indulge in 
speculation about its origin remembering 1 how much is mere 
conjecture only so far as speculation of such a kind is an essential 
background to any rational version of the programmes formulated 
by him and his successors. 

Italy in the early days of the Republic had been a land of 
small farmers, engaged in producing food for themselves and 
their families, with perhaps a small surplus for sale in the local 
town if one were to he found conveniently near, By the middle 
of the second century .c. a transformation had been wrought, 
Though the small farmer had by no means disappeared, in many 
parts of the country he had given place to men who made an in- 
comenot large, indeed, hut hanasome for its day -by working 
estates of some dimensions. Of the use to which these broad acres 
were put no brief account can he wholly trucj but it is clear that to 
u great extent, if not predominantly, they were employed for 
grazing. Pasturage and the pecuurii whom pasturage implies are 
a recognised feature in the life of Italy after the Second Punic 
War: old Oito* seems to have preached that, at least in certain 
parts of the peninsula, paatura^e, whether good > bad or indifferent, 
paid better thun any of its rivals; and when Popillius Laenas* 
records that his business apparently in giving effect to the &# 
tigraria of 133 .c was to secure *ut aratoribus cederent 
pnastores,' he shows that it was stock-farming above all which was 

1 Cicero, dt off. n, 25, 89; c Pliny, N$:L xvm, 29, In de ttgri cult* t, J% 
Cato hm In mind the stmall home-farm of about 100 iugertt on agerprwatw, 

1 Dessau 23* 


practised by the great land-holders whose holdings Tiberius 
Gracchus raided to provide land for his small allotments^ 

But though the decline of the small farmer is beyond dispute, 
and though It is clear that his arable husbandry was not continued 
by the rancher who absorbed his land, the causes of this change 
are to seek. Two, which have often been alleged, mnj he briefly 
dismissed. First,, the competition to which the corn grown in 
Italy was subjected by Importations from abroad cannot explain the 
failure of cereal production throughout Italy as a whole. Though 
it may be admitted that the coastal cities, such as they were, might 
use supplies from overseas, there is no evidence for extensive im- 
portation to any other place than Rome itself. Hut, once in Rome, 
grain can only have competed with the local product* in that part 
of Italy on which Rome had depended for its food before importa- 
tion began a region which cannot have extended much more 
than twenty miles from the city; and to that region- :i trifling 
fraction of the Italian peninsula- the effects of foreign competi- 
tion were almost wholly confined. Secondly* among the causes of 
the transition from corn-growing to pasturage no leading place 
can be given to the devastation wrought in the Hannibaiic War. 
The ravages of invasion, even at their worst > are superficial : where 
land is good, they do not cause it to be abandoned, nor do they 
produce a revolution in the use to which the land is put* if that iwe 
is already the most remunerative. In the Champagne there are- 
vineyards which have endured ravages worse than those of 1 Ian* 
nibal: yet they do not remain derelict, nor have they been con- 
verted into sheep-farms* A change such as that which took j>Iat:e 
on the Italian countryside could not have been HO widespread or 
so permanent had it not been sanctioned by the economic facts 
of the situation in which it occurred- Small farms devoted to 

production of corn gave way to the gnrzing-raneh bccaunc* 
grazing was more profitable; and if the land paid better under 
pasturage than under arable cultivation, pasturage was bound to 
advance at the expense of cereal forming, whether the land hud 
been laid waste by war or not. 

^ The soil of Italy varies widely in character and value?; but, it' the 
high Apennine be left out of account, in a brief de&cript ion 
as this It Is enough to notice two rough into which the re- 

mainder of the country may be divided* First, on either side of 
the central ridge Is a broad tract of rolling upland^ which at times 
rises into hills of considerable height and at times is cut deep by 
river-valleys. Secondly,, between this region and the is a 

plain which differs greatly from place to place both in and 

I, ii] SjfTURNI^ TELLUS 5 

in natural fertility. On the east coast It Is generally narrower than 
on the west; and on the west there are to be found both the 
wretched soil of the Tuscan maremme and one of the richest 

regions in Europe Campania. The better parts of the coastal 
plain may be grouped with a few inland tracts, particularly the 
broader valley-floorsj as land of high productivity. The bulk of the 
hill-country goes with the poorer stretches of the plain to form a 

class of much less certain value. Land of this second type varied 
in character within the widest limits. One plot might be of great 
fertility, yet with neighbours scarcely worth cultivation, if on them 
the soil happened to have been washed thin. But on the whole, 
the soil was poor, and it was on this part of Italy not everywhere) 
indeed, but In Ktruria and still more in the south that pasturage 
tended to spread at the expense of arable farming, because pas- 
turage paid best of all the uses to which such country could be put, 

Ranching, however > in Its most profitable form demanded large 
estates. Apart altogether from the greater efficiency which rural 
operations on a large scale can show against their less pretentious 
rivals, there was a peculiar circumstance In Italy working to make 
the ranches big. The climate of the peninsula and its physical 
formation combine to make It desirable, and in some places even 
necessary, that a grazier should control feeding-grounds at dif- 
ferent levels* For the summer months pasture IB needed on the 
hills, and for winter on the lower ground. If both kinds of grass- 
land were to be found within the limits of a single runch, Its limits 
must obviously be wide; but, even in cases where this was not 
possible, the grazier who could command two separate regions 
for use in winter and summer respectively was bound to be a man 
in an extensive way of business* Thus on this land of dubious value 
the raising of beasts was the most profitable occupation; and it 
was a business which to be its best must be conducted on a 
considerable scale. 

At this point there arises the question of finance* Ranching In 
the grand manner cannot be begun without the help of capital* 
and for that reason the conversion of their land to pasturage in its 
most advantageous form WES beyond the means of the smaller 
peasants, But into the pockets of certain sections in the Roman 
population capital had flowed in an abundant stream during the 
fifty years which followed the Htmnibalic Wan Great and memor- 
able distributions of booty did something to place large sums of 
liquid cash In the hands of potential Investors: the demand for 
productive securities must have been severe when, in 187 sa, the 
equivalent of a triitumm for twenty-five years was refunded; 


and again it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that the final aboli- 
tion ofthetritutum in 167 B.C. increased the investing power^of the 
population. More powerful still, however, was the effect of those 
opportunities for making money which theju*nmnent possession of 
provinces gave to the imperial people. Officials did not come home 
empty-handed, and the rising class of commercial ndyenlurrrx h;nl 
already embarked on those widespread and remunerative opera t ions 
which by the end of the century were to become a powerful in- 
fluence on the foreign policy ot Rome. 

The liquid wealth which these circumstances con cent nil od in 
Roman hands produced its usual effect. In a world which had 
yet to learn the value of a national debt and the financial system of 
which that debt is the fcnindsition, land was the* one i'ilf -edged 
security 1 . A sudden influx of wealth was followed by a sudden ru%h 
to invest it in the soil, and in Roman territory of fhr stvnmi 
century B,G, such investments were not difficult to fnul. The anti- 
quated arrangement whereby Rome in this period was %rhfing 
the wars of an empire with the army of si city-state made flu* lot of 
the small-landholder hard to a degree. He was summoned for 
service in the citizen militia; but* instead of the brief I'ampaif'n for 
which such a militia was designed, lonjr wars nowgiMK'nillyaw;iift*d 
him in theatres often far removed from home, in his ith^ente fhr 
family holding fell into neglect. At best, the work was carried on 
with success enough to keep starvation from the door : ill worst,, the 
farm was seized either for debt or by the mere violence of some 
powerful neighbour. And in what we may conjecture to have been 
the majority of cases in which these humble soldiers found their 
land intact when they returned) they found it in a condition the 
reverse of encouraging. The labour needed to restore the family 
fortunes to the condition in which they had been before fhr vail to 
arms, and the prospect that such labour might soon be thrown 
away by the outbreak of another war, left these weary veterans 
in no mind to resist an inducement to quit offered by some rich 
man who coveted their land to include in his broad domain* In- 
deed, the reluctance of the troops to return to their former 
homes had been admitted after the defeat of Hannibal; for its 
own good reasons the government had provided allotments in 
bulk and so had offered them a fresh start elsewhere. Thus 
it was- by the difficulties which the demands of military service 
put in the way of the humble farmers and by the amount of west I th 
which they produced to await investment, rather than by the actual 
devastation of the Italian countryside in the Second Punic War 
1 See Ckero, 4e off* i, 42, 151. 


that the military occupations of Rome contributed to the rural 

It must not be assumed that the attentions of the rich were con- 
fined to the poorer land alone: operations on a larger scale than 
before a sure sign that the Investor has arrived began on the 
better land as well. But on land of the second sort the coming of 
capital had a less noticeable effect, because the best employment 
of such soil whether under corn, vines or olives was possible 
even in an age when the units of cultivation were small. Only on 
the bad land, where ranching paid best, was the most profitable 
line of business denied to the poor. But everywhere alike the 
efficiency of the large estate made the big man ready to encroach, 
and with him he brought labour in its cheapest form. Successful 
warfare had made slaves both plentiful and cheap, and in the 
second century slave labour was driving free workers off the land* 
Moreover, a farm under grass notoriously owes some of its 
attractions to the smaller number of hands it needs than the same 
farm under plough; and thus, where there was a change from 
cereal cultivation to grazing, u part of the rural population was 
bound to be displaced. But the tendency of the new masters to use 
servile labour made the displacement far more violent than it need 
otherwise have been* Both on the bad land and on the good,, 
wherever their presence was felt, they introduced their living 
tools and turned the old free workers adrift to fend for themselves 
us best' they might* 

Since there was no longer a livelihood to be got on the country- 
Hide, there was a movement to the towns a movement which, it 
must be confessed, is not necessarily an evil* The influx from rural 
England to the cities at the time of the Industrial Revolution was 
far from being a disaster; but in England the newcomers were to 
be employed on production of manufactured goods for export. In 
Italy, as here, the dtk*s could already meet their own domestic 
needs, und an export tntde was the only hope of employment for 
the fresh arrivals* But in Italy this was impossible. The country 
was large and communications were bad; transport by land, as 
always, was a costly business: and even Rome itself could boast 
no serious port nearer home than PuteolL If goods were pro- 
duced, they could not be got to the quay; and so from exports 00 
help was to he expected* Commerce abroad offered better promise. 
Among the swarm of Italian traders which at this time was 
spreading round the coasts of the Mediterranean doubtless 
there were sonic sit least drawn from the population til! recently 
employed in agriculture. But commerce could not absorb more 


than a fraction of these who needed work: for the rest, (he ^dis- 
possessed peasants., when they reached the towns, began to form 
an idle proletariate useless to themselves^ useless to their neigh- 
bours and not the least serious consideration -becu use they 
were paupers useless to the State for military service under the 
existing organization of the army* 

Yet their uselessness was not all; they were also an active 
danger. There is no need to rehearse in detail the nv.iny evil 
results which followed the concentration of unemployed in 
Rome, but one aspect of the case calls for special mention ^ be- 
cause it has not always received the. notice it deserves, I lie 
pernicious influence wielded by the pkbs ttrlnntit in the Assemblies 
of the Ciceronian age is a commonplace of history. Though the 
country-voters 5 even from districts so remote us Cisalpine 
Gaul 1 , came to Rome at election-times in numbers sufficient to 
make their votes important 3 , on more ordinary occasions through- 
out the year the great majority of those present at a meeting of 
the Comitia or the Concilium Plebis was drawn from the in- 
habitants of Rome itself or its immediate surroundings. Kven 
these were lax in their attendance unless the subject at stake 
touched their personal interests a > but it was they who filled the 
Forum when it was worth their while to appear. Thus, ut a 
time when the Populus Romaims was slowly spreading mvr the 
length and breadth of the Italian peninsula, there \vu:% a danuer 
that its sovran powers would be wielded by that fraction of the 
whole which happened to live within easy reach of Rome* But 
against this danger safeguards were not unknown. Since the re- 
form of the Comitia Centurinta in the third century (vol. vti, p. Hoi) 
the voting-groups in all Assemblies had been formed on thr 
geographical basis of the tribes^ so that the members of an urban 
tribe, however many of them were present, had no more* Influence 
in determining the decision of the Issue than such few citizens 
as might at the moment be in Rome from, for instance, the tribe 
Velina, whose territory lay on the Adriatic coast. But if members 
of the tribe Velina were driven by stress of economic circum- 
stances to migrate to Rome and merge themselves in the urban 
proletariate^ the constitutional consequences were The 

vote of a distant tribe might come to he decided, no longer 
by those of its regular residents who chanced to he at Rome, 
but by men whose connection with it had in fact been severed 
and whose political outlook was that associated with the 

* Cicero, ad Ait. x, i, 2, * Q, Cicero, dt pit. w H, $o. 

a Cicero, pro Sesti&> 51, 109. 


urbanae. Thus, unless the censors used their power of trans- 
ferring citizens from a rustic to an urban tribe much more freely 
than they seem to have done In fact, the tribal organization of 
the Assemblies must soon cease to prevent citizens in outlying 
regions from being virtually disfranchised by those who lived 
nearer Rome, It was doubtless considerations such as these 
which in one section of opinion had prompted the anxiety, 
familiar since the third century B,C, (voL vir, p. 806), to see freed- 
men confined to the urban tribes (see further below, p. 96). 
Frcedmcn naturally tended to settle in Rome; and if those who 
came from the remoter parts of the peninsula were enrolled in 
the tribes of their patrons, the result would be the same risk of 
a tribal vote being unduly influenced by men who had no en- 
during tics with the locality of the tribe 1 . In the Gracchan age ? 
however, the problem was raised by citizens of free birth wno 
had drifted to the city. If large numbers of such could be 
moved back to the countryside, one of the many beneficial 
effects would have been to diminish an undeniable danger to an 
element in the Roman constitution by which the Gracchi set 
great store the element which may in some sense be described 
as democratic. 

The urgent problem was one of unemployment, and the un- 
employed were not to be found in Rome alone : their presence in 
the country towns is freely proved by the numbers who flocked to 
Rome in support of the agrarian programme. It must not be sup- 
posed, however, that the removal of the free peasants from the soil 
was complete. The census-lists show that in the twenty years 
immediately before the tribunate of Tiberius Gracchus the net 
loss of citizens* eligible for recruitment in the array- -whether by 
pauperization or by other causes, such ES emigration from Italy * 
did not exceed seven per cent.; but seven per cent, of the Roman 
citizen body concentrated in the cities as unemployed, and par- 
ticularly in Rome, would have been more than enough to present 
a problem sufficiently acute to explain all the energy of the 
measures taken for Its solution. And it was in the cities that the 
problem arose* 

The seat of the trouble for which Tiberius Gracchus essayed to 
prescribe has sometimes been wrongly sought in the country in* 
stead of in the town. Plutarch^ in his solitary quotation from a 
pamphlet ascribed to Gnius Gracchus, preserves the story that the 
need for economic reform was first borne in on the elder brother 

1 ( )n this uucfttioa see Livy ix, 4&> 1 1 $$ %* and Dirxbras xx, 36, 4. 

9 o f 4* 


when,, In 137 B.C., he was travelling through Etruria on his way 
to Spain. The deserted landscape, in which such labourers as could 
be seen were foreign slaves, started his thoughts on the course 
which led to the legislation of his tribunate. But this docs not 
prove that Tiberius was an agrarian reformer in the ordinary 
sense. If agrarian reform means an effort to convert land to a use 
financially more profitable than the present, then the programme 
of Tiberius cannot claim the name. He did, indeed, choose a //%v 
agraria as the means for the attainment of his end; but it was 
a means and nothing more. The end itself or the main eiuU if 
Gracchus had several before him was a reduction ot the pauper 
proletariate of the towns, as Plutarch suggests when, in the follow- 
ing sentence, he says that an even stronger incentive to 'I i hen us 
than the sight of the Etruscan desolation was the steady appeal 
of the poor apparently in Romefor grants of public laiul, 

If the maximum profit from the soil was all that mattered, lurge 
estates, whether used for ranching on the bud land or for other 
purposes on the good, were justified beyond dispute. But farm 
accounts were not the only consideration. The citizens might 
reasonably claim a say in the use of at least such land us was the 
property of the State, and they might rightly criticise an agri- 
cultural system which, however financially attractive, inflkfrd 
grievous hardship on an essential section of the population, AH 
Greenidgc observes, * an economic success may be a social failure* 1 ; 
and such was the situation which Tiberius (iraccluis set himself 
to face. Determined to meet the demand for land cm which won 
at present unemployed might for the future earn their livings, hr 
introduced a law to authorize the distribution of public land in 
small allotments, even though this meant that the soil of Italy 
would thenceforward yield a 'less bountiful return than untiiT the 
existing system. When Appian says that the programme of 
Gracchus had moral, not economic, welfare as its aim a , his 
words contain more truth than some historians will admit. Never- 
theless, whatever economic loss might be, the sacrifice* 
justified. If the Gracchan scheme could be carried to sueeesfy u 
livelihood would be found for the growing mass of unemployed* 
the number of substantial citizens on whom alone under the 
prevailing system the army was supposed to draw- would be 
increased, and Italy would lose some traction of its slave popula- 
tion,, which by now was becoming a pressing danger. 

1 j4 History of Rome 9 vol. I, p. 59, 

r> 2 ,, I l is P r P 8als werc directed 
BelL Cw+ r, u, 43, 



Such In brief was the situation which called for treatment. The 
details., so far as they need attention, will for the most part be dis- 
cussed in connection with the Gracchan proposals; but one of the 
problems presented by slavery demands separate attention. The 
invasion of the countryside by gangs of slaves had done something 
more than produce that unemployment among the free population 
which has been noticed already: to some extent at least it 
imperilled the whole safety of society by concentrating in rural 
Italy large bands of desperadoes who, if they were to combine 
against their masters, might form an army of the most menacing 
dimensions. In Italy itself ominous risings had occurred during 
the twenty years which followed the defeat of Hannibal (vol. vni, 
PP* 35 X > 379)) an( ! Italy was not immune from repercussions of 
the latest and most violent upheaval. But Sicily was the seat of the 
unrest which, when Tiberius Gracchus became tribune, had be- 
come so grave as to call for the presence of a consular army; and, 
even if the trouble had been confined to that island, Sicily was near 
enough to Rome for it to have been impossible that Gracchus 
should fail to sec the advantage to the public safety which a re- 
duction of the slave population would bring, 

Three centuries and more had passed already since Sicily for 
the first time served as the cockpit of the Mediterranean. As 
early as 480 lue* the Greek victory over the Carthaginians at 
Himcra had produced n glut of slaves 1 , and the military character 
of Sicilian history thereafter had helped to maintain the supply, 
And not only were slaves freely to be found: Sicily was in the 
closest contact with Carthage, and from Carthage the Sicilian 
Greeks, whose example was followed in due course by such 
Romans as found Sicilian land a profitable field for investment, 
seem soon to have picked up the practice of using slave-gangs to 
supply the necessary labour on their estates. In the second cen- 
tury B.C. no more than about a fifth of its surface was under corn, 
though such was the fertility of the island that even this was 
enough to justify its being called, as later it was by Cicero, *a 
granary of the Roman People/ Of the rest, by far the greater part 
was devoted to the usual pasturage; and, though it cannot be 
doubted that slaves were freely employed for arable cultivation as 
for all other forms of labour in the island, it may be surmised that 
the herdsmen on these wider lands, as always, were the most 
dangerous section of the servile population. They were the hardest 

1 Diodorus xi 25, 23* 


to keep under close control, and it was they who had the best 
opportunity to start an insurrection, whatever might he the sources 
from which it drew recruits when once begun. 

There is no need to dwell on the brutality and degradation to 
which the victims of this system were subjected. Though there 
were favoured exceptions^ it is difficult to conceive uny lower 
depths of misery than those which were fathomed by the mass 
of these plantation-slaves. The hardest lot of all fell to those 
engaged in arable cultivation, but even the herdsmen, whose oc- 
cupation inevitably demanded some degree of freedom, were left to 
shift for themselves and keep body and soul together as best they 
might by brigandage or any other means. That they made the* 
country utterly unsafe for its free inhabitants and for the casual 
traveller was the least serious consequence of their presence: what 
mattered more was that nothing but a leader was needed for them 
to become a powerful army threatening the whole established 
social order. 

From the middle of the second century n,c. Sicily had hern 
shaken by sporadic outbreaks which finally , towards the autumn 
of 135 B.C* ? culminated in a rising far surpassing any that had 
gone before 1 . There now appeared a leader of ability beyond dis- 
pute one Eunus, a native of Syrian Apamea, who was slnvr 
of a citizen of Enna named Antigenes. Ktttnis was a man 
devoid of military gifts ? but it is clear that it was he who con- 
verted the spasmodic outbursts of discontent into a rebellion which 
called for the most vigorous action by armies of the Roman IVopU*. 
What he lacked in military skill he made f*ood in vision ami 
personality, whereby he was able to inspire his followers with a 
reverence which he did not scruple to inerouse by claims to In* 
spiration and by a few simple devices of the tnedieine*mnn* Kunus 
was the prophet of better things who managed to transform si horde 
of slaves into a formidable fighting force, 

The movement began near Enmi on the estate of a Sieeliote 
named Damophilus- a man renowned for his brutality even In 

1 Chronological certainty is impossible*. For the most cuttmr<*h<*mive 

recent study ^ of the chronological problem << K. Cuuvri, * Rmiui i* le 
guerre servili in Sicilia * in his Process* politic* t 

especially pp. 70^. In the opinion of the present writer attempt* m show 



pp. 655 *yy.) Tiavc been adequately refuted by L, V,m-ti ( I Mmpotrfl 

"sdoppiamenti" dellc guerre servili m Sicilia* in Rfo. FiL N,S. v, 1927, 
pp. 44. jyy*} 


a society whose heart was harcL A plot was hatched; Eunus 
announced the favour of the gods; and one night four hundred 
conspirators mustered outside the city. Then in the darkness Enna 
was stormedj and there followed a massacre of the free population. 

Later on the survivors were reviewed at leisure ; and though a few 
chosen spirits known for their humanity towards the slaves were 
spared, of the rest all but those who could forge arms for their new 
masters were summarily put to death. The success of this initial 
move was wisely exploited by Eunus to strengthen his own in- 
fluence. He himself became king and took the honoured name 
* Antiochus'; his concubine was dignified with the title * queen '; 
and his people were to be known collectively as 'Syrians' 1 , At the 
same time some of the ablest rebels, among whom a certain 
Achaeus was outstanding, were formed into a Council of State; 
and from this point onwards it is Achaeus who directs operations^ 
while liunusj withdrawn into regal seclusion, provides a focus for 
the common allegiance on which the unity of the movement de- 
pended* The first business of Achaeus was to build up his forces. 
Accordingly, all the ergastula within reach were opened without 
delay, and in three days the original four hundred had swelled to 
six thousand. But the force still grew apace,, and about a month 
after the capture of Enna it received a notable accession from an 
unexpected quarter- Fifty miles south-west of Enna lay Agri- 
gentum, the greatest city on the south coast of the island, and here 
by a stroke of luck a new base was acquired for the cause. Among 
the slaves of that region was a Cilician named Cleon, who com- 
bined the practice of highwaymamhip with his more proper duties 
of horse-keeping. This individual was moved by the news from 
Knnu to emulate the exploits of Eunus by seizing Agtigentum^* 
Yet such was the prestige of Eunus that, despite the success of 
his independent coup> Cleon made no attempt to establish a rival 
power: with a self-sacrifice which does credit to his intelligence 
he offered himself, his men and all the resources at his command 
to the leaders of the original revolt> who thus found another five 
thousand troops at their disposal* And still recruits came 1% until 
at length, when first they fell foul of a Roman array? the In- 
surgxmts numbered twenty thousand 

From the outset It had been the policy of Eunus to win Sicily 

1 At Enna he issued coins with the name and royal title: see E, S. G. 
Robinson, * Antiochus, King of the Slaves/ in Num, Chron*, Fourth Series, 
xx, 1920, p 175, See Volume of Pistes iv a, * 

a That Agngcntum fell into the hands of Clean is strongly suggested by 
Diadems xxxrv-*v, 43* 


and hold It. For reasons which are not recorded, though they 
may be divined, he made no attempt to organize a return of the 
slaves to their homes in the East, Such a project can have had little 
to commend it, even if it were possible to prevail on the corsairs 
of the Mediterranean to provide the necessary transport, I Jmted 
the rebels had some hope of resisting Rome with success, but once 
they were dispersed to their native places they would tall easy 
victims to whatever punitive measures might be taken by the 
Roman government and its clients. Moreover, it is sate to assume 
that of the youngest and most effective members of the rebel force 
many had been born in slavery: for such men Sicily wan home, 
and it is not to be supposed that they would have found a ready 
welcome in their ancestral cities. Thus the efforts of the leaders 
were directed to the strengthening and extension of their grip on 
Sicily, Tauromenium and Catana fell into their hands, and from 
* this it may be inferred that the rich plain south of Ktna lay under 
their control* The limits of their occupation are not accurately 
known, but it is of more interest to find that, wherever the slaves 
were established, their behaviour was of a piece with their general 
policy of building up a permanent power in the inland* looting 
was banned, property was spared, and the responsibility for surh 
damage as was done lay rather with the free proletariate, which 
made use of the occasion to vent its own resentment against the 
rich 3 than with the slaves themselves 1 , 

Faced with a threat to sever from the Empire its oldest province*, 
the Roman government was bound to take measures more drastic 
than those which in preceding years hud barely sufficed to 
prevent sporadic risings from turning into open war* The dangers 
of the situation needed no emphasis; if they hsid^ emphasis might 
have been supplied by the more or less contemporaneous mil breaks 
which occurred in other parts of the Mediterranean. There* was 
trouble in Attica and Delos 2 , as well as in many other places; ami 
Italy itself was not immune 8 * A rising at Koine wan of m^iigtblc 
proportions^ but at Minturnae and Sinucssu the severity of the 
vengeance taken when order had been restored betrays the alarm 
felt by public opinion 4 * Evidence is lucking to support the view 
that these widespread signs of disaffection, to which the revolt of 
Aristonicus in Ask may be added 5 (see below, pp. io;i J^.) reveal 
the presence of a single organization whose object was to secure a 

1 Diodorus xxxiv-v, 2, 48, a Diodorus xxxiv-v, a, 19, 

3 P. Popillius Laenas during hh praetor-ship had already rcrurm**! to Italy 
917 fugitive slaves who had escaped to Sicily (Dcssitt a 1 }). 

4 Orosius v, 9, 4. ft uiodoru* xxktv~v a, afe. 


general revolution. Yet it cannot be denied that they had a grave 
significance. They served to show that conditions of slavery, at 
least in the mines and on large estates, were in many places so 
utterly l>ad that the victims were ready for recourse to violence to 
right their wrongs. A success for the insurgents in Sicily might 
have moved their fellow-sufferers elsewhere to feats of emulation 
whose consequences could not be lightly contemplated by up- 
holders of the existing order. Strong action was demanded, and 
it was not taken too soon. 

If the revolt at Knna belongs to 135 B.C., it was probably at the 
end of the same year that JL, Hypsaeus faced the rebels with an 
army of 8000 men* He was outnumbered by more than two to 
one, and his defeat had the inevitable effect of giving fresh strength 
to the enemy l . The details of what followed are obscure. C. Fulvius 
Flaccus, consul of 1345 came out to take command but met with 
no success, tie was followed by L. Calpurnius Piso, consul of 
133, who seems to have improved the discipline of his troops and 
to have made some sort of headway; the discovery at Enna of 
sling-bullets bearing his name suggests that he penetrated to the 
walls of the enemy's citadel 2 . It was left, however, for P. Rupilius, 
consul of the succeeding year, to win the decisive victory; Nu~ 
mantiu hud fallen in 133, and it is possible that one result was to 
set more troops free for use in Sicily. The attack on Knna 
begun by Piso may for the moment have been broken off; at any 
rate the scene of Rupilius* opening operations is Tauromenium, 
Tauromeniiim fell after blockade had reduced its garrison to the 
last extremity of starvation, and thereafter Knna itself suffered the 
same fate, Cleon was killed in a sortie from the city; Achaeus had 
already disappeared; and Kunus alone of the leaders contrived to 
get away. Thus in 132 B,C* the back of the revolt was broken, and 
it only remained to run down fugitive bands which might still 
disturb the peace. Accordingly Rupilius seems to have organized 
a scries of Hying columns which combed the country so effectively 
that Sicily soon enjoyed a calm unknown for decades* Kunus 
himself duly fell into Roman hands; but strangely enough he was 
allowed to live in captivity until he died a natural death* Drastic 
as the Romans had been in their punishments so long as the rising 

1 Diodorus (xxxir v, 2* 18) certainly exaggerates when he says, if the 
text be right* that their army grew to be 200,000 strong; and the estimate of 
70,000* given by Livy (JKfit* 56), if It is meant to be the number of the 
whole body, IK more plausible. But it is clear that the force now reached 
the most threatening dimensions* 

C.LL. 1, 847. 


was a danger, once Enna had fallen their policy seems to have 
been one of restoring the rebels to their rightful owners: for a 
massacre of slaves meant confiscating the property _ of those on 
whose behalf Rome had taken arms. So ended the First Servile 
War, and the settlement was sealed by a reorganization of the 
Sicilian province. Rupilius was sent a senatorial commission of 
ten members 1 and with their aid he drew up a provincial charter 
the Lex Rupilia of whose arrangements, in judicial matters 
at Ieast 3 we know something from the second of Cicero's speeches 
for the second actio against Verres. 

The episode belongs in the first place to the history of Sicily. 
During the rising of the slaves the island is suid to have suffered 
even more severely than in the fighting with the Carthaginians^ 
and the permanent effects of the upheaval were profmimK It in 
difficult to escape the conclusion that the Servile Wars were the 
cause of that partial return to the ownership of lain! cm a small 
scale, the results of which are visible in the following century' 1 . 
But, on the other hand, its bearing on the general course of Roman 
history is direct* The war was in full career when Tiberius ("! rucchui 
entered on bis tribunate, and it cannot have failed to lend a force*, 
which the most indifferent must have felt, to his plea tor u restora- 
tion of small farmers to some part at least of the Italian countryside,. 


When the programmes of Roman politics demanded land for 
their fulfilment, the land to which their authors natural Jy turned 
was the ag&r puMicus populi Romamlht accumulated product of 
Rome's advance in the Italian peninsula. After u successful wur 
it had been the Roman habit to take from the vanquished enemy 
a fraction of his land which varied with the vigour of his resistance 
or the measure of his guilt* The revolt of Privernum in the fourth 
century (vol. vn, p, 589 n. i) had been punished by the of 
two-thirds of the city's territory 4 , but in the majority of Rome 

seems to have been content with half of this amount. Of the area 
thus acquired much had been converted already into private pro- 
perty* It was on agerpuMicus that Rome relied when a site had to 
be found for a colonial foundation,, or again when individuals were 
to receive allotments such as those distributed on the wxalied 

1 Cicero, n in Virr, , 13, 32 and i6> 39. 
* Floras it, 7 (m s 19), a/ 

s Cicero, ir in f^err. in, n t 27, 
4 Livy vm, i, 3. 


ager Gallicu$ y first by the famous law of C. Flaminius in 2,3 2 1 
(vol. vii, pp. 806 sy.) and afterwards in 173^ (voL vm, p. 33&)> 
or again in southern Italy to the veterans of the Second Punic 

War 3 . Some, too, had virtually been sold,, like that made over to the 
lenders in payment of public debts (ib* p. 1 12) 4 But such land 
is irrelevant to the Gracchan legislation. Save what was surrendered 
to creditors- which technically remained public^ though in fact 
it could not be resumed, all this land passed from the dominium 
of the Roman People and became the private property of the re- 
cipients. The ager publicus of the Gracchan age was only what 
remained after these large deductions an area which did not 
exceed two million acres ? or one-seventh of the territory of Rome* 
Yet not even the whole of this was affected by the Gracchan 
scheme: that much of it was left untouched we know from the 
law of in BC* G 

Like the soil of Italy as a whole, that part of it which still was 
the property of the Roman People fell naturally into two sections 
the good and the comparatively poor. The better land was a 
valuable asset; that part of it which lay in Campania and was known 
as the tiger Camp anus is even said by Cicero to have produced 
revenues that were an important item in the finances of Rome so 
lute as 59 B.C. And because it was valuable, it was kept under 
proper control and let on definite leases by the censors**- If they 
did their dutyand we need not suppose that they regularly failed 7 
the richer parts of the agerpubticus must have been immune from 
the abuses which arose elsewhere- a fact which will explain their 
apparent exemption from the attentions of the &# agraria. But 
with the poorer class of public land the land on which arable 
cultivation was precarious and where pasturage was generally 
more profitable (see above, p. 5)- -the case was different; and 
it was with this that the Gracchi were concerned* Its value was 
not high and its quality varied from place to place, If it was to be 
let effectively at the highest rent it would sustain, a survey of the 
imperial type was needed; and that stich a survey was impossible 
was one of the many unhappy features of the time which were due 
to the lack of an adequate civil service* Nevertheless, State 
property could not lie idle, and in the helter-skelter of expansion, 
a rough and ready means of using it was devised. Public an-* 

1 Polybws ii 5 a it, 78, a Livy xi-r, 16, 9; xui, 4, 3-4. 

* Livy xxxi, 4, i j 49, 5. 4 Livy xxxr, 13, 

! * Brims, JPontes 7 , 1 1. 6 Appian, BtlL 6Vv* r 7, 27. 

7 There had indeed been a certain laxity in Campania before 
sec Livy XL*** 19, x 


noun cement was made that country of this sort was vacant, and 
the right to squat thereon was offered to anyone perhaps even 
though he were not a Roman citizen 1 -who was prepared to pay 
the State a fixed fraction of the produce which land so occupied 
might yield. The offer was eagerly accepted,, but the State control 
was slight; and, whether from the outset or in course of years, 
estates in these regions grew to large dimensions, 

Tenants of ager -publicus held their possessivnes tor the con- 
sideration of a rent tyectig&f)* On land of the better sort this was 
fixed by the censors for each individual holding jrenerally, we 
may assume, in cash 2 . Not so, however, on the poorer ground, 
Here, according to Appian's account 1 *, the terms oiiercd to 
prospective squatters had been that they should pay as rent a 
varying amount determined from year to year by the use to which 
their holdings were put. For plough-land the payment wan a 
tithe of the annual produce; for vineyards, orchards and garden 
plots a fifth* Graziers alone paid dues which were set from the 
first in cash, and these were fixed as u poll-tax on the* stock 
at rates which differed with the nature of the beasts. Under 
such a system the difficulty of agreeing the sums due was enough 
to encourage laxity in collection. The rigour with which these 
rents were exacted is a matter of some obscurity: that they had 
been wholly forgone during the financial stringency of the early 
second century is improbable, but when they were imposed stpaiti 
in 1 1 8 B.C. Appian suggests that legislation was required 1 . I Jnlcsg 
these dues had been remitted by Tiberius Gracchus which h not 
impossible (see below, p. 25), it must be assumed that before 
his time their collection had become slack; but even if rent had 
still been regularly paid^ the readiness of the Romans to acquiesces 
in the conception of agcr prwctttts VMtig{i$sytt'~-kind private umi 
yet yielding rent to the State is enough to show that its pay- 

1 It is difficult, if not Impossible, to explain the sequel to th* ^givuwn 
legislation of TL Gracchus, unless a certain amount of thr <tg?r /W'/sV*M was 
occupied by individual members of the sillied commumuVK, ww*tht*r such 
fossessio by non- Romans was strictly permitted by law or din* to u rttrrr 
custom which had been allowed to grow tip, 

a That the censorial locatio agri was* among other thing*, a low of thr 
land to tenants and not, as Nicbuhr held, merely a lease to of tin: 

right jto collect t\\G<vectig#li# therefrom, is strongly sug&esU'd by various jwws 
of evidence, of which perhaps the most cogent h the application of the* phrust* 
[agrum conjductum habcre' to pesMsorts In Brunts, /<WiVi% 1 1 , I |i. For ;i 
discussion of Nicbuhr's account, see JE. O. Hardy, Six K*m*m 
pp. 86 sqq. 

3 Seff. Civ. i, 7, 27, 


ment was not incompatible with the central fact about land in 
this position. That fact was the tenants ' belief that 3 in practice 
if not in theory, it was their private property. If rent were ex- 
pected, rent might still have to be paid; but, so long as this was 
done ? they felt secure against eviction* The date of the various 
praetorian rulings 011 this point cannot be determined with pre- 
cision., but it is in every way probable that already by this time 
there had been established the interdicts which guaranteed 
against ejectment by rival claimants l and even authorized the 
passing of tenancies by bequest 2 . 

Nevertheless., even if the State did not desire to get its land in 
hand which in theory it might do by merely giving notice to 
quit the legal position of the tenants was by no means always 
sound. Since the legislation of C* Licinius and his colleague 
L. Sextius in 367 B.C. (vol. vii ? pp. 538 syj'*)? occupiers of public 
land, in whatever class it fell., had been subject to restrictions in 
the amount which any individual might hold* The maximum 
originally fixed in the fourth century and the detailed history of 
later modifications, if such were made, are alike uncertain, but it 
maybe said on the authority of Cato 3 that in 167 B.C. the figure 
was still supposed to be one of five hundred ittgera (roughly three 
hundred acres), though the provisions of the law may no longer 
have been observed. There were easy methods of evasion, Plutarch 4 
and Appian 5 both record that land-holders who had already 
reached the limit contrived to extend their holdings still further 
by employing relatives or dependents as bogus lessees ; and by 
the tribunate of Tiberius Gracchus the administration of the law 
seems to have become so casual that even these formalities were In 
most cases omitted. Thus, when land was needed for distribution 
to the poor, means of obtaining It were at hand. If poss^ssores were 
deprived of all that they held beyond the maximum allowed by 
law, the amount of land set free would be enough to provide 
small allotments on a considerable scale. 


Tiberius Gracchus was not the first to recognize the abuse* 
According to Plutarch 6 , the question of the public land had 

already been broached by the younger JLaelius we may* assume 

1 Fewtus, p* 260 1-5 Cicero, pro Tullio* 19, 44* 

f Cicero, pro Cluenth^ 60^, 165, 

s Frag. 9<je F* 4 Gracchi* 8, 2, 

6 B*U. Cw i* 8, 34* * Gracchi, 8, 3, 


In some year between his tribunate in 151 B.C. and his consulship 
in 140 B.C.; but the reception of his scheme hud been so hot 
that, with the caution which not infrequently paralysed the bene- 
ficent plans of Scipio Aemilianus and his friends, he allowed 
his proposals to drop. Thereby, Plutarch holds, he won the title 
c Sapiens/ It must be admitted that Cicero knows nothing 
of all this, and that in repeatedly connecting the cvguumcn of 
Laelius with his character and attainments, rather than with any 
political discretion, he seems to have the contemporary authority 
of Lucilius on his side 1 . But in its general drift the story is not 
improbable. By the middle of the second century the dangerous 
growth of unemployment had reached dimensions which could 
not escape the notice of observant men; and that they should have 
seen the danger and made none but the feeblest efforts to nicer if 
is characteristic of the honourable but easy-going enteric, which 
takes its mime from the younger Africunus, Inflective action 
was left to another of the political groups, though to one* not 
unconnected with that of Scipio* 

The Gracchi were a family which had risen to prominence 
so late as the Second Punic War, and its most famous member 
hitherto was Tiberius, the father of the two reformers. Though 
he did not always approve the conduct of his father-in-Jsivv, this 
man had married the daughter of the elder Atricanus ami had 
befriended Lucius Scipio, under whom he hud served in CJrc*cc'c% 
at the time of the Gatonian attack (vol. vni > p. 37 i). With cult lire* 
which enabled him to deliver a speech in (ireek he combined a 
simple severity of life which made his censorship an occasion to 
be remembered among the more advanced sections of" society; ami 
to these domestic virtues he added military prowess of w> mean 
order* The triumphs which rewarded his achievements in Spain 
and Sardinia had been fairly won, but he had a still stronger claim 
to fame in the character of his provincial government. During 
his service abroad, and particularly in Spain, he had clone much to 
raise the prestige of Roman arms, and he had wrought even better 
in winning for his country some sort of reputation for honesty 
and straight dealing* Such was the man who by si somewhat early 
death left the education of his family to his widow, There had been 
twelve children born^ but of these only threc-~Tiberiu5* > (*SUUH 
and Serapronia, the wife of Scipio Acnnli!imts~~survivedi their 
youth ; Under the guidance of their mother they received a I rain- 
ing of the kind which might be expected from u lady whose father 
had been one of the foremost philhcllencs in Rome ami whose own 

* Cicero, defin. 11, % 14* 


hand was sought by a reigning Ptolemy. She was not content with 
the elementary teaching which for Cato's son had been enough: 
the young Gracchi were to sit at the feet of men who could ex- 
pound the culture and the political experience of Greece. If it may 
be assumed that from their Hellenic teachers the two brothers 
derived the undoubtedly Hellenic ideas which appeared in their 
public life at Rome, those teachers can claim a place in Roman 
history. Blossius of Cumae, who came of a stock which had 
possibly provided the leaders of the Capuan rebellion in 210 B.C. 1 , 
had studied under Antipater in the Stoic school at Tarsus per- 
haps with Panaetius himself: another, Diophanes, was a Myti- 
lenaean and one of the most famous rhetoricians of his day. The 
early training of the Gracchi was not unworthy of their ancestry 
and their connections. 

The active career of Tiberius Gracchus opens with two events 
his co-optation tea place in the college of augurs and his marriage 
to Claudia, whose father Appius Claudius Pulcher, the Princeps 
Senatus was not on the best of terms with Scipio Aemilianus, In 
spite of this, however, Scipio took the young man to Africa as a 
coHtubernaliS) and there, at the siege of Carthage, he was introduced 
to war. Warfare awaited him again when 3 as quaestor in 137, tie 
served under C. Hostilius Mancinus m Spain. The diplomatic 
difficulties which arose when, by the use of his father's reputation;, 
he saved the Roman army when it could not save itself, belong to 
another story (voL vnr, p. 320 sq^\ but the Spanish episode in 
his life deserves notice here for a double reason. It was on his 
journey towards Spain that Tiberius is said to have observed the 
conditions in Etruria which turned his thoughts in the direction 
of agrarian laws, and it was his salvation of the army at Numantia 
which, at least among the dependents of the troops, did not a little 
to win him that wide affection which he afterwards enjoyed. The 
months which followed his return to Rome must have been largely 
occupied by the discussions which ended with the consignment of 
Mancinus to the mercy of his enemies in Spain ; but by the middle 
of 134 Tiberius was ready to set his hand to the task of social 
reform, lie was elected tribune in the summer, and on 10 De- 
cember the memorable year of office began* 

In the task which his enthusiasm had chosen to attack 
Tiberius' youth was not without the support of age. Blossius 
and Diophanes supplied advice which, if not always judicious^ 
might at least have claimed to be detached, and to their exhorta- 
tions were added others from sources more responsible. Though 

1 Livy xxvii, 3, 45, 


the conservatives were inevitably hostile and the Seipiottie section 
was from the first lukewarm, Tiberius had friends of his own 
among the oligarchs. His father-in-law was one; but si quarrel 
with thepatres about a triumph less than ten years before must 
have done something to detract from the proper influence of the 
Princeps Senatus. More serious was P.Licinius Crassus Muewnus, 
who had become by adoption the leading member of u taimly 
already famous for its wealth and who was soon to be PontitVx 
Maximus. Crassus seems consistently to have lent the scheme 
the weight of his great prestige, and even after the murder ^ of 
Tiberius his appointment to the vacant place on the 1 agrarian 
commission was regarded as a concession to the Graeehun party* 
His brother, who also lived to hold the office of chief pontiff- 
P. Mucius Scaevola, one of the two leading jurists of his duv 
was likewise well-disposed; but though*, when they were clamouring 
for Tiberius' blood, he refused as consul to countenance the 
violence of the diehards whom afterwards he upheld, Cicero* 
suggests that his sympathy for the Grace han cause had never 
found the most outspoken expression, If Plutarch's tale of I *ue)tus 
is not wholly false, the evil to be attacked was one whoso ex- 
istence the Scipionic party could not well deny; and, \vht*h im*n 
like Appius Claudius, Crassus and Scaevola were on the* rrfc>ritic*r**% 
side, the proposals he produced could not lightly be brmhrd aside 
as the fantastic dreaming^ of too generous youth. 


The lex agrarm was a simple measure, designed to provide* 
allotments for the poor* To find land for distribution It proposed 
that the State should deprive its tenants of all tiger pub/icus held in 
excess of a maximum fixed by law. It has been akl already (p. 1 9) 
that such, a maximum was set by the l4cinmn~8extUin kgbktkm 
in the fourth century* and that it seems still to have remained in 
theory down to Cato's time. But though the provision to Hr 
revived and enforced, it was to be revived with a qualification of 
which, there is no hint before. The practice whereby 
exceeded the legal limits in the extent of their holdings by using 
relatives or dependents as bogus lessees (p. 19) was not in all 
instances an equal abuse. The "father of a family whose surplus 
land was held by sons of age was clearly in a stronger position be- 
fore public opinion than the bachelor who employed freedmen to 
hold an estate from which his profits might be increased*, find It 
1 pro Planck, 36, 88$ dw& n, 5, 13, 

I, vi] THE LAND-BILL 23 

was to the credit of Tiberius that between such cases he sought to 
distinguish. Though in theory the old limit of five hundred 
iugera was to be restoredj tenants who had sons were to be allowed 
an additional two hundred and fifty for each 1 possibly with the 
provision that no holding should thereby be made to exceed one 
thousand in all 2 . Of this concession the majority could doubtless 
take advantage. And not only so. As a set-off against the reduction 
of their estates, such land as the old possessores retained was to 
be held for the future not in precarious occupation, which might 
at any moment be terminated by the State, but In perpetuity 
without the payment of vecfigal. 

Whatever the legal implications of this provision, its effect 
was undoubtedly to convert these holdings from ager fubKcus 
into what was, for all practical purposes, private property. 
That the terms offered by Tiberius were better still, and that he 
proposed to compensate tenants for improvements made on the 
land to be surrendered, cannot be alleged with confidence. The 
vague expression of Plutarch 4 is perhaps no more than a garbled 
version of the arrangement for perpetuity of tenure more accur- 
ately recorded by Appian, though it may be conjectured that, had he 
proposed the purchase of such improvements by the State, Tiberius 
might have been following a precedent conceivably set when some 
Campanian land was resumed about 166 B.C. 5 But even without 
such monetary compensation, the concession made to tenants with 
sons, and the alienation by the Roman People of such land as these 
tenants were to retain, are provisions of generosity enough to show 
that the lex agraria was no narrow measure conceived In a spirit of 
petty hostility against the class on which fortune had smiled In 
the past* 

The land thus rendered vacant was to be distributed to the poor 
in allotments of uncertain size: Mommsen inferred from the ex- 
tant law of in B.C. (Bruns, Fontes 1 ^ u, L 13) that none was to 
exceed thirty iugera^ but the story of similar grants in the past sug- 
gests that the majority of the plots were less extensive than this* 
In any case, since the law was framed at a time when neither the 
number of potential recipients nor the amount of land available 
was known, it Is difficult to believe that the measure Itself fixed any 
standard area for the small holdings- That matter was probably 
left to the discretion of the executive; but In a more vital Issue 
rigorous provision was made. If the scheme was not to be a farce, 

J Appian, BfU. Civ. r> 9 37 * l 4$ * LIvy, JBjpit. 585 d* viris i/L 64, 3. 
s Appian, KM. 6Vv, i, xx, 46, 4 Gracchi* 9, z* 

s Cicero, de /eg& agr. u, 30* 82 j Licinianus, p* 9 r* 


means must be found to ensure that its benefits should reach their 
proper destination and not fall into the hands of any enterprising 
opportunist who might ask for land in order to raise reach* cash hy 
immediately assigning his tenancy. For this purpose Tiberius 
enacted that the holdings awarded under the Lex Sompronia, 
though capable of passing by inheritance., should not be alienable 
by transfer fora consideration; and, possibly in order to keep alive 
the State's Jominium without which this provision could not he 
effectively enforced, he seems to have insisted that the tenants 
should pay a rent 1 . To answer the familiar question whether 
Tiberius intended his veto on alienation to be permanent is more 
than the evidence allows* But nothing known of him lends colour 
to the assertion that he committed himself to an economic ab- 
surdity, nor was the purpose which the clause was clearly meant 
to serve more than temporary 2 . It is impossible to prove , and 
not easy to believe, that, had Tiberius been -alive in r Z i H.C\ when 
the enactment was repealed after its work was dune, he would 
have offered opposition. 


Such was the Lex Sempronia agniria a drastic meusure to Jeal 
with a serious social evi! 3 and yet at the same time one which in- 
flicted no unnecessary hardship. Once the method of Ittmi-ailot- 
ment had been chosen as the means whereby employment w-is to 
be found, it is difficult to see how it could have been more fairly 
executed. Inevitably, when abuses have taken root, they i;unt 
be eradicated without a wrench; but the force used by Tiberius 
was > initially at least, applied with gentleness, and the concessions 
he made to vested interests would justify from a lenn partial his- 
torian Plutarch's judgment that 'to meet illegalities ami greed on 
such a scale there had never been drafted a milder law or si 
less violent?,' But, in spite of this, resistance was ttfrong : the great 
possessores bulked large in the Senate, and the Senate hail recourse 
to its usual device. When the bill came before the Concilium 
Plebis a tribune was found to exercise his veto one M. Of 

i The only evidence for this Is PUitareh*s statement (Gmcchi* .jo* 2) nude 
in recording that the^ exaction was abolished by Living Drubiat'in tia if.r* 
Though Drusus is said to have won some popularity by it* rvmiVMon* thr 
amount of this rent cannot have beer* large. 

* It is to be noticed that Caesar in 50 B.t% fixed twenty yrun* a the* 
period during which his allottees were to be prevented from gulling tlsrir 
holdings (Appian, B*!L Civ. m, 2, 5 and 7, 24). * GntcM, 9, a. 


a youth whose character would bear inspection and who is said by 
Plutarch 1 to have been a personal friend of Gracchus. The results 
of this opposition were grave. First, it seems that Tiberius, in 
resentment at finding petty partisanship endeavouring to wreck 
a measure conceived in the broad-minded spirit of a statesman, 
amended his bill to give it a tone more in harmony with the 
sectional spite of his opponents, Plutarch., who alone records that 
the bill was passed in something other than its original forni^ 
does not explain the alterations; but it is clear that, unless Plutarch 
is completely wrong, the concessions made to existing possessors 
were reduced* The nature of the change can only be conjectured. 
It appears from the subsequent course of agrarian history that the 
land such people were allowed to retain did not become their 
private property until ill B.C.; but, though these holdings of 
500 iugera were left by Tiberius in the category of ager publicus 
where he found them, such evidence as we have suggests that he 
did not in these cases revive the claim to a *uectigaL A rent was 
demanded from occupiers of this class in 1 1 8 B.C., and unless 
some unrecorded remission had been given since 133^ a rent can- 
not have been exacted by Tiberius. Thus it seems that the first 
result of factious opposition was to cause the withdrawal of the 
proposal that so much of their holdings as the old possessores were 
to keep should be converted into something which might be 
regarded as tiger pri*uatusi they remained tenants of the State 
whose tenancies might be still further curtailed in the future as 
(jaius Gracchus perhaps proposed to do though their position 
was still peculiar, because even now Tiberius did not insist on the 
payment of a rent. And besides this, it is almost certain that any 
offer of compensation for improvements on surrendered lancl 
which Tiberius may originally have made was forthwith 

more serious* however, than these results of opposition on the 
vested interests in land were the consequences for the constitution, 
Tiberius did not, indeed, act with haste. To the first threat of veto 
from Octavius he merely replied with a general suspension of 
public business 4 ; and even later he was still prepared to acquiesce 
in the suggestion made by two ex-consuls that he should submit 

1 But see Dio, frag* 83, 4, 

a (VVv/rM/, to, 2. For the view that this story is mere invention see 
P, Fraccaro, Studi sulf* ft A del Gracchi* i (CittSt di Castcllo, 1914), pp. 961^* 

3 It is hard to interpret Plutarch, Gracchi* 30, 2, as meaning that Linus 
Drusug abolished wctlg&l on the old possessions* as well as on the new 
allotments* 4 Plutarch* Gracchi* 10, 4, 


the bill to the consideration of the Senate, which had hitherto been 
ignored. It was only when this last attempt at an agreement had 
met with its inevitable fete at the hands of the, oligarchs thsit 
Gracchus mooted his drastic proposal to divest Oetavius of bin 
tribunate (a proposal against which no threat of veto is recorded). 
But, when milder means had failed and one course alone was left 
if Gracchus was not to be paralysed throughout his remaining* 
months of office, that course he took with resolution. Re-* 
luctantly and with many appeals that his colleague should re- 
lent, but still without sign of flinching, he passed a />frfa\wtKM 
whereby Oetavius was deposed. Soon afterwards a successor was 
elected. The weapon of the obstructionists was broken in their 
hands and the way of the reformer lay clear. 

On this action of Tiberius the most divergent judgments 
have been passed: indeed, the complexity of the Roman govern- 
mental system, and the difference between the practice and the 
imperfectly formulated theory, make it possible to argue \\itft 
plausibility for almost any view. In the present place it will be 
enough to mention some of the leading considerations* Though 
the peculiar origin of the tribunate cannot be denied, the office had 
undergone an extraordinary change since its institution. With the 
successful issue of the plebeian struggles against the /w//w ant I 
with the subsequent legislation on provoctitio the tribunes had lost 
their primary raison <f$$r\ but when their services were no longer 
needed for the protection of the Plebs, other functions were fount! 
to justify their existence for the future* After the* Struggle* of the 
Orders, when plebeians began to make their way into the 8*nat<*, 
they brought to the new nobilittis a most powerful ally: the tri- 
bunate was refashioned and made into an invaluable* t'hcc'k on 
popular assemblies whose powers* though not supreme, we*rr 
dangerously great. Thus the tribunes became the * nutnrijtm 
nobiliumV Without the regatta of & presiding officer 5 no asscmoly 
could act; but if magistrate and people were agreed on a nu*asur<\ 
however pernicious to the State, the Senate, for all its* prctij?t% 
in the last resort was powerless even to impose delay. Kxcept for 
the extremely inconvenient methods of proclaiming a general 
suspension or business or faking unfavourable aunpicctt, no check 
could ^be exerted but the veto of a tribune, and this wan now the 
most Important purpose for which tribunes had come to be cat- 
pjoyed. The negative and obstructive powers of the office made it 
singularly well suited to supply the conservative clement In the 
State with an instrument of obvious value, and as a result of the 

x, 37, 11, 


services which they could render in this capacity the tribunes had 
entered more and more deeply into the constitution of Rome. To 
claim that the tribunes were not magistrates but merely officers of 
the Plebs was, in the Grace han age as always, theoretically just; 
but at this time it would involve a somewhat academic appeal to 
the past, and it was a claim which, if its implications were pushed 
to their full extent, might have entitled its enemies to deprive the 
tribunate of several functions, acquired in course of years, which 
its supporters would have been reluctant to surrender* If Tiberius 
had claimed that tribunes were to be treated otherwise than as 
magistrates and there is no evidence that such a claim was made 
his interpretation of the facts could not be called less than ped- 
antic* A less captious line of argument might have urged that the 
new conditions of the second century demanded that the tribunes 
should resume the functions they had discharged in the fifth and 
fourth. In ancient days they had championed the Plebs against 
patrician oppression, and now they might break with the recent 
past to render a like service to the masses who were suffering at 
the hands of the new nobility. But this again is an argument of 
which the authorities preserve no trace. 

The passage in which Plutarch 1 implies that Tiberius attacked 
the whole principle of collegiality by asserting that* if colleagues 
disagreed, one or other might properly be deposed, cannot bear 
the stress which it has sometimes been required to support* The 
suggestion stands alone: it is unconnected with the arguments 
elsewhere ascribed to Tiberius: and it should probably be 
regarded as the thoughtless embellishment of an historian who 
did not appreciate the significance of his words* If this sentence 
may be disregarded, the attitude of Tiberius becomes more 
precise and more definitely democratic. He contended that, 
since he and Octavius were in diametric opposition, the voters 
might rightly depose whichever of them was thwarting the 
popular will. The contention carried with it a constitutional in- 
novation of the gravest moment* The words in which Polybius^ 
says that * tribunes are supposed always to do what the People 
approves and above all to aim at the achievement of its desires ' 
are capable of conveying more than was recognized in Roman 
practice: they certainly fail lamentably to fit the tribunate of the 
second century; and> unless they are prompted by Gracchan his- 
tory ? they must be taken as no more than a vague reference to the 
duties which the origin of the office might be interpreted to imply* 
Its business at the outsat was admittedly to uphold the general 
1 GracM, 11,4- * vi> 1 6, 5* 


interests of the masses; but from the fifth century onwards to the 
tribunate of Tiberius there is no hint that the tribunes were a mere 
executive appointed to carry otit the wishes of the Hehs :md in 
major issues were without a discretion of their own. In the Roman 
constitution the People were not completely sovran, nor were the* 
magistrates, to whom the tribunes had become more and more 
closely assimilated, the mere agents of the assemblies. Sovranfy 
rested with the People and magistrates in conjunction. Only !>y 
magistrates and People acting together could legislation he M 
cured, and in this matter, as in others, magisterial and popular 
authority had always been treated as strictly co-ordinate. If t hi- 
story of L, Brutus and Tarquinius Collatings is an invention lutrr 
than the Gracchi, no precedent could be quoted for the tic-position 
by the People of a magistrate actually in office or of ;i tribune*; ;im^ 
even if such a step had been taken in the past, it would have hern 
irrelevant unless the, complaint had been the failure of the victim 
to carry out the wishes of his electors. In ho(h respecN if was left 
for Gracchus to make the new departure, and the change which 
he proposed was innovation indeed. The trilnjnes at least- ;uui in 
the Gracchan age the ctirule magistracies could scarcely hi* un- 
affected by doctrines applied to the tribunate were to he ;i mere 
executive. The tribunate was to be to the Concilium Plcin*; what 
the Cabinet is to the House of Commons, and the People was to 
wield a sovranty as complete as that of a Greek assembly, without 
even limitations like those imposed at Athens by the ****/*&<* 
paranomon, Tiberius Gracchus and his brother were perhaps the* 
first true democrats in Rome and, it may he added, the last. 

To say that Tiberius brought to Rome something of the* 
political experience of Greece is not to pass comlcmnaticm: ( Jrrck 
democracies had merits of their own, even though the unrestricted 
supremacy of the citizens assembled wan not well miffed to a State 
whose members were spread over so wide an area us the 
ager Romanus* Yet even the Athenians had cheeks of n kim! % not 
strong enough indeed or wide enough in application : hut at least 
legislation of a revolutionary kind was impossible HO long as the* 
constitution was not suspended or ignored. The sinister and 
alarming feature of Octavras* deposition was, not that if- implied 
a degree of popular sovranty unknown at Rome before, hut that, 
for all that Gracchus proposed, the sovran People was to he left to 
exercise Its powers unchecked. If the tribunicmn veto conic! he* 
evaded once, it could be evaded whenever it was applied to the pro- 
gramme of a demagogue; and in that case there was nothing to stand 
between the State and legislation however citsastrcuH ex- 


pedients of a kind on which no reliance could be placed. A general 
suspension of business could not last for ever, and the age was one 
which would soon discover how to deal with attempts at obstruc- 
tion by the announcement of ill omens, Tiberius Gracchus must 
not be condemned outright. His cause was good and the opposi- 
tion was of a kind which deserved not the slightest consideration. 
But in the excitement of the fray and in the knowledge that he 
had the welfare of Rome at heartj he was led to take a step 
fraught with peril for the future. The unbridled supremacy of a 
citizen assembly is always dangerous, but it is doubly so when the 
citizen body is scattered so far afield that only a fraction of the 
whole and that fraction not representative is normally present 
to vote. Such power, though probably he did not appreciate the 
implications of his act, Tiberius was giving to the urban mob; and 
the gift was rash. 


Once the resistance of Octavius had been broken, the land bill 
in its amended form was passed. To carry out its provisions 
a board of three commissioners was set up, and, apparently by a 
subsequent enactment 1 , it was equipped with power to give 
judgments of legal validity in cases where the State's claim to the 
ownership of land was in dispute. The commissioners, in fact, were 
to have imperium a circumstance which explains their mention 
among the magistrates in the I, ex Acilia of 122 B.C, Another 
feature of their appointment has given rise to much controversy* 
According to Appian* the commissioners were to * change every 
year'- a phrase which is generally regarded as a slight misrepre- 
sentation of an arrangement whereby the office was made annual, 
though the existing commissioners were always eligible for re- 
election a . It has been argued, however^ that the meaning is wholly 
different, and that the reference is to an annual rotation of the 
presidency of the commission a system whereby, if the president 
alone was indispensable to the progress of the work, any individual 
member might be free for other public duties, if he so desired, for 
two years out of every three 4 . The election seems to have lain with 

1 Livy, Epit. 58, * Belt. Civ. x, 9, 37* 

a Strictly interpreted the words va\\a<rro/A4vov'? tear* $TQ? cannot mean 
that the original members should merely have to undergo the annual 
formality of re-election; they imply an annual change of personnel which is 

not in accordance with the facts. 

4 Sec J* Carcopino, jlutmr des Gracques, pp. 125 sqq* If this interpreta- 
tion is on the right lines, in the judgment of the present writer its, author 


the Concilium Plebis; and when this met under the presidency of 
Tiberius, its choice fell on Tiberius himself, his brother (iaius who 
at the time was away in Spain, and his father-in-law ApphiH Claudius 
Pulcher. This family gathering was in one respect peculiar, I In less 
special exemption had been granted in the lex ^;wrjw, the election 
of Tiberius violated the provisions of certain laws which forbade 
the proposer of a bill to sit on any commission created thereby 1 ; 
and that there was some such irregularity is suggested by the 
attempt of Livius Drusus in 122 B.C. to make political capital by 
a righteous refusal to take any part, in the execution of his own 
measures 2 , 

Nevertheless the commissioners went to work and laid (he 
foundations of an achievement whose dimensions must be con- 
sidered later (see p. 43 jy,). But their course was not easy. By the 
methods adopted in the passing of the bills the Senate had been 
utterly antagoniz-ed, and before long its hostility found expression. 
In accordance with a long-standing custom none but a consul 
might draw on the public funds without express authority from the 
Senate,, and now the Senate saw in its hold on the purse-strings an 
opportunity to obstruct the process of allotment. The commis- 
sioners themselves were refused all but the most ludicrously in- 
adequate supplies to meet their own expenses, and for the* more 
important purpose of providing capital wherewith the new yeomen 
might stock their farms nothing was forthcoming* But when the 
trewiri were in a predicament already sicutc, fortune came to the 
rescue 3 . There suddenly arrived in Rome a Pcrgamcne namrd 
Eudemus, who brought with him a will wherein Attains III had 
instituted the Roman People his heir, Here wan a windfall 
which Tiberius could not afford to neglect, -ami in using it he 
raised a second constitutional issue. To the Senate's attempt to 
obstruct by employing against him its financial control ho replied 

goes too far when he suggests that this rotation of the presidency was Imtcf 
aown in the text of the law itself and was not rather a private,! arrangement 
made among the members for their own convenience* Nor U It to be- 
lieve that, when two commissioners out of three were present in Italy with- 
out other occupation, the available commissioner who wan not prcsulrin at the 
moment would refrain from all activity in connection with the work of 

1 For the Leges Licinia and Aebutia see Cicero, //r kg* #gr. n f 8 ? 21 ; 
de domo sua> 20, 51. 

2 Plutarch, Gracchi* 31, t. 

3 Sec Carcopino, op. V., pp. 35 sqo. for an attempt to disprove thin mry 
by showing that TL Gracchus died before Attains 11 L A brief criticism 
of the argument will be found in J.JR.S. xvm* 1928, p. 


with a direct attack on its ancient claim to manage provincial and 
foreign affairs. What part of the bequest he proposed to hypo- 
thecate is uncertain, but a bill was introduced before the Concilium 
Plebis ordering that some of the wealth thus left to Rome should 
be set aside to provide for the needs of the new allottees. And, more 
serious still, the bill was accompanied by an announcement that 
the affairs of the Attalid Kingdom were no business of the Senate 
but that measures for their settlement would be laid by Tiberius 
himself before the People, That the bill to find capital for the small- 
holders from the revenues of Pergamum was ever passed we do 
not know : if it was not, we must assume that as a bare threat it was 
effective enough to break down the existing financial deadlock. 
But, whether enacted or not, the mere proposal of the measure had 
a deep significance as another assertion of the People's supremacy. 
Not only in issues of a domestic kind, like that at stake when 
Octavius was deposed, but in imperial matters too the Concilium 
Plebis was to be sovran in fact. And just as the check of tri- 
bunician veto had been removed from the activities of the People in 
purely Roman matters, so now the trammels of senatorial consent 
were to be destroyed where external affairs were concerned. In 
questions of provincial policy, where Rome hitherto had been 
blessed with a control on the waywardness of the masses more 
effective by far than that exercised in fifth-century Athens by the 
boule<> the assemblies were to work their will for the future without 
let or hindrance. As before, the intentions of Tiberius were above 
reproach; but here again his enthusiasm led him to provide a 
precedent fraught with danger for time to come* 


By now it was the summer of 1 33 B,C ; and when the election of 

tribunes for the following year was at hand, it seems that Tiberius, 
not without justice, regarded the position of the agrarian com- 
missioners as still precarious. Accordingly he began to moot a 
proposal for his own continuance in office, and to this end Plutarch 

asserts that he developed a new programme of legislation 1 -. The 
period during which citizens were liable for military service was 
to be shortened, prwocatio was to be granted against the decisions 
of judicial commissions appointed by the Senate, and the jurors m 
the quaestie repctundarum were to be half senators and half *equites/ 
instead of being wholly drawn from the Senate as at present* Such 


is perhaps the most plausible interpretation of the suggestions 
which Plutarch preserves; but his words are not explicit ami other 
authorities do nothing to help their explanation. Indeed, Dio 1 
alone among the rest of our extant sources lends confirmation to 
Plutarch's tale by so much as mentioning such further project:-, 

The programme is one which cannot with confidence he re- 
jected: the need for some change in the regulations for military 
service was already acute (sec below, pp. 133 ^?)* ^ ie <-'fr<*<'~ 
ment of a claim to the universal right of prowcutio is no matter for 
surprise, and the introduction of a new element into the juries of f lie 
iudicia $ublica may as well have commended itself to Tiberius as it 
did to his brother ten years later, On the other hand they cannot he 
accepted outright. The silence of Appian tells against thrn^ and 
proposals which admittedly Tiberius never managed to enae? are 
of all the features in his career the one most exposed to corruption, 
And when it is recalled that all three measures were later passed 
by Gaius, the possibility cannot be ignored that their ascription to 
Tiberius is an illicit retrojection, prompted partly by a desire of 
his detractors to load him with some of the unpopularity incurred 
by the still more objectionable Gaius, and partly by a widespread 
but erroneous assumption that the aims of the two brothers were 
to a large extent the same. But though the details are suspect, It in 
not improbable that Tiberius did in fact do something In provide 
a programme which would justify his re-election; and there cun he 
no doubt at all that the new appeal to the electors was the occasion 
of his death. When they had failed in their various attempts to 
scotch the scheme of allotments, the oligarchs retired in sullen 
hostility to console themselves with the thought that this visitation 
would afflict them only for a year; in December 133 ?,o. Tiberius 
would become a private citizen again, and then it might be* possible 
with more success to burke a reform whose author would no longer 
be able to defend it with the authority of a tribune-. To these 
calculations the re-election of Tiberius would he fatal. A second 
year might be followed by a third; and by that time, even if no 
new devilry had been started, the damage wrought Co vested 
interests by the activities of the commission might well be irre- 
parable. At all costs the re-election must be stopped; and HO 

1 Frag. 83, 7* The speech of Scipio AemilJanus contm iV////V/r/// 

Tib. Gracch( (Makovati, Or at. R&m* Frag, i, jx 240^) miw Iwvi- bct*ii 
part of Scipio's attack on the agrarian ccmimissicm Sit 129 ti.c. (HCC below, 
pp. 42 jgry.}, unless Macrobius (&<?/. in, 14, 6) is completely mistaken in hi* 
attribution, It cannot belong to the tribunate of Tiberius; Scipio at the 
time of Tiberius' death had been in Spain since 1 34, 


strongly were the oligarchs convinced of this necessity that to 
achieve it they had recourse to the basest methods of the mob. 

Had the office of Tiberius been a curule magistracy, no claim 
to re-election could have stood. In r 80 B.C. the Lex Villia had 
imposed a drastic check on the progress from one curule office to 
another., and about the middle of the second century it had been 
enacted that no man might hold the consulship more than once 
(vol. vin, p 367). It is true that this rule had been relaxed in 
favour of Scipio Aemilianus in 1353 but in the absence of such 
dispensation, the legal position as regards curule magistrates ad- 
mitted no dispute, Tiberius, however, was a tribune, and in 
the days when the tribunes led the opposition to the patrician 
government, it had been a familiar practice, after a tribunician 
college had formulated some precise demand, to keep those tri- 
bunes, or their leaders, in office until the demand was granted. It 
is true that, since the most famous use of this device in the ten years 
before the legislation of C* Licinius and L. Sextius (vol. vii, p. 
52,4 ^), the need for it had gradually grown less until it had be- 
come a half-forgotten expedient of an age which was now remote : 
but, in spite of protests, the right remained, and there were even 
precedents for the re-election of a single tribune* It may be said 
with confidence that in the case of tribunes r&fectio had never been 
forbidden by law: not even the authorities most hostile to the 
Gracchi can quote any statutory bar. The Gracchan party were 
making a concession to their opponents when Carbo in 131 (see 
p. 38 jy.) proposed to legalize a re-election which no legislation 
forbade. But, as Great Britain was reminded in 1909, sudden 
insistence on a dormant legal right often involves dangers worse 
than its surrender; and the same is true of Tiberius* claim to a 
second tribunate. Though Ms position was sound in law, it com- 
pelled him to appeal from the present to a past whose precedents 
were to a large extent irrelevant, 

Here again it is to be remembered that the tribunate owed much 
of its enormous power to its gradual assimilation to the curule 
magistracies; and, though it was strictly immune from conditions 
by which these magistracies were governed, an argument which 
depended on this theoretical immunity was one which ? besides 
being pedantic, might soon recoil on its author. If the tribunes 
were for all practical purposes to be treated as magistrates, it was 
far from reasonable for them to claim exemption from what was 
perhaps the most important of all the rules by which magistrates 
were governed the rule which alone stood between the Republic 
and a principate* By offering himself as a candidate at the eleo 

CJWH* xac 3 


tions in 133 B.C. Tiberius raised an issue of the first magnitude. 
It was an issue destined to force itself on public notice more in- 
sistently as the revolutionary age took its course, and destined 
finally to be settled by Augustus in the sense which Tiberius 
Gracchus had proposed* But, for all this, it is idle to suggest that ; 
the troubles of the next hundred years would have been avoided if 
Gracchus had been allowed his way. A principate provided the last- 
ing solution of Rome's constitutional difficulties, and it was at some 
sort of personal pre-eminence that Tiberius seemed to aim* But 
between the position of Augustus^ secure in the possession of 
imperium^ and that of a tribune annually re-elected by the Con- 
cilium Plebis there was all the difference in the world* One could 
afford to snap his fingers at the clamour of the urban mob; the 
other depended on it almost entirely for his political survival* 
Gracchus was steering Rome straight for ochlocracy; and, though 
such an issue was probably far from his own intention, there was 
truth in the oligarchic allegation that, in the fashion familiar among 
the Greeks, this champion of the people was threatening to 
establish a tyranny* The tyrant, it is true,, would be controlled by 
his supporters; but he would be none the less a tyrant far the 
fact that he was bound to fall if ever he forfeited the friendship of 
the plebs urbana* 


Much can be said in extenuation of the oligarchic 
but there can be no justification for the methods it employed. If 
ever the folly of political violence was proved by its results* that 
proof was given by the consequences which flowed from the 
murder of Tiberius Gracchus, When there at length arrived the 
day on which the election was- to be made, the Senate met in 
the Temple of Fides, and at its meeting the presiding consul 
P* Mucius Scaevola was directly asked by P* Scipio Nasicu, 
the Pontifex Maximus, to save the State and destroy the tyrant. 
To this demand Scaevola made the right replythat he would 
do nothing illegal, but that if illegality were committed by the 
People he would refuse to regard the act as valid. By the con- 
tentions of Tiberius, Scaevola was not convinced. The claim to the 
right of re-election in his opinion was unsound, and if the Concilium 
Plebis went through the form of appointing Tiberius to another 
year of office the ceremony would be of no effect: but, in nplte of 
this, it was inexpedient to stop the ceremony by force* To JNTasica 
and his friends this was temporizing with revolution* Since the 

I, x] LYNCH-LAW 35 

consul was betraying the State, they would uphold the banner of 
the constitution. And so the diehards set forth to inaugurate the 
rule of force. Tiberius was clubbed with the leg of a chair, three 
hundred of his supporters were done to death without so much as 
a pretence of trial 3 and the champions of the constitution could 
boast that they had shed the first blood drawn in civil war since 
the expulsion of the second Tarquin. 

Tiberius Gracchus was a young man whose enthusiasm had 
carried him away* His intentions were of the best, though anxiety 
for the cause of social reform had led him to constitutional innova- 
tions which were ill-considered and impracticable. But even if 
it be admitted that his programme could not be enacted as it stood 
without injury to the State, the manner of his death stood as an 
indelible condemnation of the system which his opponents were 
claiming to uphold. The appeal of Tiberius was made by argu- 
ment: the reply was made by force. If the rational demand for 
reform could be refuted by reasoned defence of the existing 
system, the use of violence by his enemies admits of no extenuation. 
If the suggestions of Tiberius, however dangerous their con- 
elusions, could not logically be shown to contradict the funda- 
mental principles implicit in the constitution, then the constitution 
was in need of change. In any case the fate of Tiberius Gracchus 
left his enemies convicted; if they were not unjust stewards 
of a system which was good, they were the worthy champions 
of a system which was bad* Such was the predicament in 
which the oligarchy found itself involved by the uncurbed folly of 
its extremists. Yet the Senate as a whole was not guilty in the first 
degree. Though Cicero can quote the consul Scaevola as one who 
approved the deed, Scaevola was on the side of law during the 
crisis itself; and though Scipio Aemilianus is said to have prayed 
that the fate of Tiberius might be shared by all who did the like 
again 1 , it is difficult to suppose that he and his friends would have 
supported violence on the day of the elections. Yet if among the 
senators there was wisdom, folly was so widespread that wisdom 
could not prevail; and the oligarchy betrayed its latent weakness 
by recourse to bloodshed in a difficulty so slight that the sanctions 
of any stable constitution should have mastered it with case. 

1 Plutarch, Gr#cchx> ax, 4. 




When the struggle at length was over and the oligarchs had 
emerged, battered but supreme;, they set their hand forthwith to 
the task of repairing the damage* To have invalidated the A'.v 
agraria outright, on the ground that the deposition of Octavius, 
by which alone its passage had been secured, was illegal, would 
have been to raise an issue so complicated that the advantages of 
such a course were at best a speculation. Certainty of success there 
was none, and the Senate of the Gracchan age was experienced 
enough to refrain from staking its interests on a very dubious con- 
tention. There was a better way than this -to accept the land- 
commission for the moment and to wait for such opportunities as 
might occur of hampering its activity. But the commission was 
not the most sinister feature in the situation. Much as the senators 
disliked the economic programme of Tiberius, there can he no 
doubt that opposition owed its .strength to the challenge which had 
been thrown down to the existing constitutional arrangements To 
promulgate a bill which, so far from approving, the Fathers 
had not even discussed, to devise a short way of dealing with the 
veto of a conservative tribune^ to submit financial questions from 
the provinces to the People direct, and to threaten the establish* 
ment of a system dominated by a popular tribune elected year after 
year these were the crimes for which the Senate was mo$t con- 
cerned to brand the memory of Tiberius, Imitators of these must 
at all costs be deterred; so a court was created with instructions to 
punish everyone proved guilty of aiding Gracchus in his pernicious 

This congenial task was entrusted to the consuls of 1 32 n*e~ 
men suited for their work by the union of a certain moderation 
with unshaken loyalty to the oligarchs, K PopilliuH Lucnsi*,, 
though he came of a family with an ugly reputation for violence 
and brutality, did not shrink from boasting 'that he was the first 
to carry out the provisions of the Gracchan land-law 1 * ilis col- 
league, P* Rupilius, who left an honourable monument of his 
services in the charter of the Sicilian province, was a political friend 
of Scipio Aemilianus; and this connection, which was perhaps 
responsible for the presence of Laelius on the tonsi/ium of the 
consuls,, is enough to suggest that, even though the egregious 
Nasica was a member too, the court would conduct itself with 
some sort of honesty and reason. Nevertheless^ its orders from the 

1 Dessau 23. 


Senate were of the severest kind, and though the instructions e ut 
in cos, qui cum Graccho consenserant, more maiorum animad- 
verterent 1 ' were not strictly interpreted to mean that the guilty 
were to be done to death by crucifixion (or scourging), by various 
methods, all of sufficient brutality, the active following of Tiberius 
was destroyed. His most distinguished friends, who naturally 
were not involved in the more violent incidents of the affair, 
were left untouched; no attack was made on Crassus or Appius 
Claudius, and Scaevola had atoned for earlier aberrations by the 
prudence of his consulship. But on the rest the court fell with 
a heavy hand: adherents of the cause were freely condemned, 
and those who contrived to evade arrest were banished without 
trial. Blossius alone of those who appeared before the court is 
recorded to have emerged alive, and even he thoiight fit to betake 
himself to Asia, where he died by his own hand on the sup- 
pression of Aristonicus two or three years later* 

Thus the challenge to senatorial supremacy received an un- 
equivocal reply, and admirers of democracy for the future were 
under no delusion about the penalty of failure in an attempt to 
impose it on Rome, Meanwhile one slight adjustment was needed 
to set the Senate's own house in order. Its enemies were not slow 
to suggest that the champions of the existing order had a curious 
friend in one who had led the lynching of an elected officer of the 
Plebs, protected by all the sanctity of the tribunate* In a crisis 
Scipio Nasica was a tower of strength to the craven-hearted con- 
stitutionalists ; but now that the Senate had regained control his 
recent achievements made him a somewhat embarrassing ally. So 
weak was his position that he was even threatened with pro- 
secution; and to the oligarchs, therefore, the rising of Aristonicus 
in Asia provided an opportunity not unwelcome. Clearly a com- 
mittee of the Senate was needed to investigate the affairs of the 
province, and none could deny that on such a board Nasica might 
appropriately receive a place, So to Asia he was consigned > and in 
Asia he died. 

Meanwhile the land-board was at work. The Senate did not 
interfere; and when the time came to elect a new commissioner in 
place of Tiberius* it prudently refrained from taking part in a 
scheme of which it disapproved. Accordingly it acquiesced in the 
appointment of the new Pontifex Masrimus, P, Licinius Crassus 
Mucianus, the father-in-law of C. Gracchus. Thus the commission 
remained in the family* But its members were not without dts* 
tractions* In 131 B.C. Crassus was consul,, and his attention 

1 VaL Max. xv, 7, x. 


chiefly to have been occupied by the disturbances in Asia, where 
he died In the following year. Soon afterwards another place 
became vacant by the death of Appius Claudius Pulcher, and 
C. Gracchus had to look for two fresh colleagues, whom he found 
in M. Fulvius Flaccus and in a rising member of an hitherto tin- 
distinguished house C.PapiriusCarbo, a person of little principle 
but great oratorical power. Flaccus, probably the successor of 
Crassus, was an old supporter of the CJracchan cause, and Carbo, 
who took the place of Appius Claudius, had declared his faith as 
tribune in the consulship of Crassus Mucianus 131 K,O. 

The year 131 B.C. had been one of some excitement. For the 
first time in history the censorship had been held by two plebeians 
together, and one of them- the famous Q. Motel 1 us Mace- 
donians contrived to make his tenure of the office memorable* 
Not only did he combine the most utilitarian view of the female 
sex with a policy of enforcing marriage for patriotic purposes 
his speech *de prole augenda ' was once inflicted at length upon the 
Senate by the Emperor Augustus 1 -but by his attempt to remove 
from the Senate a tribune named C, Atinius JLabeo Maccrio 
he provoked one of the latest manifestations of the tribunJcian 
practice in its primitive form. Atinius, who may conceivably 
have given Plebiscitum Atiniuni its name, so fur resented hi** 
removal from the Roll of the I louse as to waylay the censor ami 
drag him by force towards the Tarpcian Rock, But happily before* 
they reached the edge* Mctcllus was rescued by HOOK* rival tri- 
bunes, and it seems that a subsequent attempt to deprive him of 
his property by consecration met with no better success. The* tri- 
bunate of Carbo, however, had revived a graver issue* I Its /ex 
tabellarm*) though si measure of prime importance, can scarcely 
have been controversial* The use of the ballot, introduced for 
elections in 139 B.C., had been extended two years Liter to voting 
on judicial issues (with the exception of cases of perduelli^\ and 
this extension had been supported by Scipio Aomilianus. Now the 
ballot was to be -used in legislation, to the great advantage of the 
plebs urbana* Voters who^ in whatever way, were dependent on the 
rich might hope for the future to exercise their rights without fear 
of victimization* But the most serious proposal" made by Carbo 
was another to declare legal the annual re-election of a tribune 
for a period limited only by the tribune's ability to retain the 
electorate's support. Not only was this an imprudent and un- 
necessary suggestion that law had been on the Senate 1 side In 1 33 ; 
it was also a barefaced attempt to force on the Senate one or the 

1 Suet, Aug. 89, a. 


most objectionable principles in the programme of Tiberius 
Gracchus. His threat to establish a principate had been defeated; 
but now Carbo was proposing to smooth the way for some 
successor. To meet this menace, besides their own formidable 
influence, the oligarchs were able to count on the support of 
moderate opinion. The Scipionic circle was stirred: first Laelius 
raised his timid voice in opposition, and the measure was finally 
rejected when Scipio himself assailed it with all the power of his 
oratory and all the weight of his prestige, For the moment, the 
radical advance was stayed. 




agrarian commissioners now held the centre of the j 
Gains Gracchus, Carbo and Fulvius Pkcciis a triumvirate 
which was in office continuously from 130 to 122 set to work 
with such energy that, before long, they had raised a problem 
greater than they knew* From the outset the lex figmri<i hail 
threatened vested interests in public land, and the interested 
parties made their inevitable complaint* Those of them who were 
Roman civcs had resisted the bill in 133 ; and, when if was passed, 
their opposition could fairly be said to have been overruled. Re- 
sentful they undoubtedly remained; but their ense h;ui been heard, 
and after its rejection they were without any legal ground for 
grievance* Now, however, the Latins and Italians took a haiu^ 
and with stich effect that, the work of the commission was soon in 
the gravest peril. The nature of their complaint is still to some ex- 
tent obscure, but the evidence is enough to show the outline of 
their case. Much has been made of the fact that the territory of 
communities belonging to the Latin Name had sometimes boon 
extended by block-grants of ager puhKcus^ to be occupied torpor- 
ately by the community concerned as tenant of the Roman IVopIc* \ 
this> it is said.) was the land whereto the Latins feared the applica- 
tion of the Lex Sempronia* But, as these blocks had been granted 
to the Latin cities for me at their own discretion^ it 5s hstrtt to be- 
lieve that they were exposed to the provisions of the Gracchati : 
it is not in this direction that the grounds for apprehension must 
be sought. On the other hand, when Italian communities became 
allies of Rome, they had generally surrendered part of their land 
to be made ager publicus populi Romam and had been allowed to 
retain the rest. Here at least there was room for doubt about the 
precise limits of the public land over which the triumviraJ juris- 
diction ran> and disputes in such circumstances as to what 
ager jwbKcus pofuli Romani and what was not do something to ex- 
plain the bad feeling which arose. Besides this, however, there was 
another source of trouble. Though the evidence is not csxpHcit, it 
is scarcely possible to doubt that, when agerpu&Rcus of the poorer 

1 Brims, Pont*$ t o, L 31. 


sort had been offered for occupation by squatters, advantage was 
taken of the opportunity by people who were not citizens of Rome. 
If on occasion more land was available than could be furnished 
with Roman possessors, it was clearly in the interests of the State, 
rather than allow part to remain unproductive, to seek tenants for 
it where tenants could be found. Latins, who of course enjoyed 
the ius commercii with Rome, and probably Italian allies too, were 
tolerated, if not welcomed, as settlers on the vacant land, and thus 
the Roman ager pu^Kcus^ no longer a purely domestic concern, 
acquired an interest for other peoples in the peninsula and became, 
at least potentially, a matter of international importance. 

There were thus two ways in which the operations of the com- 
mission might give trouble to the Latin and Italian allies. First, 
where land left in the ownership of an Italian community marched 
with ager publicus populi Romani^ the local inhabitants might be 
called upon to produce evidence establishing their title to that 
which they claimed to be theirs: and, secondly, there were the 
Latins and Italians who had settled on land which admittedly be- 
longed to Rome. So far as our evidence goes, it does not suggest 
that the commissioners proposed to treat Latin and Italian posses- 
sores less favourably than possessors who were Roman citizens; 
but, if all alike were to suffer no more than a reduction of their 
holdings to the maximum allowed by the Lex Sempronia, it by no 
means followed that the resentment of the non-Roman section 
would be removed by the reflection that they were in no worse 
plight than their Roman neighbours. It is true that the hardships 
brought upon the allies by the agrarian legislation were not by 
themselves enough to provoke any dangerous degree of discon- 
tent: the trouble was that they came at a time when the allies were 
already for other reasons in a stillen and suspicious frame of mind* 
For something like a hundred years their treatment at the hands 
of Rome had slowly grown more scurvy : their services had been 
drawn on ever more freely to fight the wars which won Rome 
her empire beyond the frontiers of Italy, but their reward, so far 
from being admission to some kind of partnership with the im- 
perial power, had been nothing more than a series of exasperating 
pin-pricks which served to emphasize the inferiority of their posi- 
tion (see further below, pp- 46 jy<p.). The undeniable lack of grati- 
tude on the part of Rome, and her cynical determination to exploit 
the allies for her own purposes, had their inevitable result. There 
was resentment which only needed an opportunity for expression^ 
and this opportunity came with the activities of the agrarian 'Wi*- 
mission, Latin and Italian squatters were to be told^ror- so 1 qtr 


least they feared to give up part of the land on which they lived 
in order that it might be bestowed on members of the Roman 
proletariate on people who were not even eligible for military 
service. Thus the agrarian programme touched off the InflamtiKible 
material long present in the allied communities, and an active 
agitation began. 


When the agitators arrived hi Rome they found powerful in- 
fluences on their side* For what it was worth, they could count 
with assurance on the support of the senatorial du'hards men 
who would lend their aid to any movement which promised to 
strike a blow at the detestable work of Tiberius (irucchus. Hut 
these senators were no true friends: they might help the Italians 
now 3 when it suited their own interests, hut it was they who 
had caused and countenanced most of the abuses out of which 
Italian discontent had grown. There were more honest helpers 
than these. The foremost figure at Rome Seipio Aemilianus 
owed his prominence above all things to his achievements in war* 
and in the field he had learnt to appreciate the truth that without 
the help of the Italians the victories of Rome could never have 
been won. When it came to weighing the claims of the allies 
against those of the Roman unemployed, Seipio was not the man 
to be blinded by the glamour of the title *civis Komanus ** In him 
the Italians had a friend whose friendship tested on a knowledge of 
their services to Rome, and to him they turned. 

Early in the year 129 he took action, The intervention of Seipio 
was an event of the first importance, hut unfortunately if in tint* 
on which the evidence is lamentably weak* Appian in our only 
authority, and his account is vague to a degree, It h usually said 
thatj after enlarging on the unpopularity of the land-law among 
the allies and their distrust of the commissioners, he secured the 
passage of a measure whereby the commissioners were deprived 
of their judicial powers* These powers were then transferred to one 
of the consuls- C, Sempronius Tuditanus, who promptly went 
off to Illyricum and left the trewiri in a state of paralysis, from 
which they were only restored by the lex of Gains Grace hits 

in 123, The, truth or this account^ however^ is by no means beyond 
dispute. It cannot^ be denied that, when powers of judicial de- 
cision had been given to the commissioners by a plebiHcitCj, 
nothing less than another law would have sufficed to take 
powers away; yet Appian is silent about an amending act being 


passed by an Assembly and seems to confine the whole incident 
to a scene in the Senate, Again, if authority to settle cases where 
the status of land was in dispute had simply been transferred to 
magistrates who were out of sympathy with the whole programme 
of agrarian reform, the operations of the commissioners must 
rapidly have been brought to a standstill ; yet Dio 1 records that, 
after the death of Scipio, they were as active as ever. Finally there 
is the evidence of the census-lists. As they stand in the Epitomes 
of Livy, these give totals of 317,933 in 136/5, of 318,823 in 
131/0, of 394,736 in 125/4 and of 394>336 in 115/4* Whatever 
the explanation of the similarity between the last two returns, 
there is no valid reason for denying that a large increase occurred 
after the census of 131/0; nor can there be much doubt that the 
cause is to be found in the work of the agrarian commission* 

Precisely how this result was produced depends on the view 
which is taken of the lists whose totals are thus recorded* If, with 
Herzog, we believe that the numbers are those of Roman citizens 
qualified by property for military service numbers, that is, which 
do not include those of the proletarii the increase will be due to 
a mass of proletarii having acquired property enough in the course 
of the land-allotments to raise them into the ranks of assidui and 
so to make them eligible for reckoning in the census-lists. This, 
however, involves the assumption that plots of ager publicus^ held 
apparently in mere possessio > were regarded as private property for 
the purpose of assessment* If, on the other hand, with Mommsen 
in his later phase, we believe that the numbers recorded are those 
of Roman citizens, whether proletarii or not, who by age could be 
reckoned as iuniores^ or if with Beloch we hold that the whole body 
of adult male citizens is included, we must assume that poorer mem- 
bers of the population, about whose enrolment the censors had 
not troubled in the past, now began to insist on their registration, 
presumably because the lex agraria, by the grants which it pro- 
mised to Roman citizens, had made effective citizenship a privilege 
on which those who were entitled to it found it worth while to 
insist. Now if the rise which occurs between the numbering of the 
people in 131/0 and that in 125/4 were due to transformation of 
proietarii into assiduij it would be difficult to believe that the work 
which this involved could have been carried out by the tresviri be- 
tween the end of the census of 1 30 and the intervention of Scipio 
in 129, If, on the other hand, it was the attraction of possible 
allotments which induced poorer members of the population, 
hitherto unregistered,, to enrol, their enrolment will only 1 "be 

Frag, 84, 2, 


intelligible if it happened at a time when allotments were still to be 
had; and their enrolment is to be placed, at earliest, in 125. In cither 
case it seems that the census-lists confirm Dio in his assertion 
that Scipio did not bring the work of the commission to an end. 
There is much to be said for an alternative account 1 , Appiun's 
narrative of the incident seems to make the Senate-! louse 
its scene: the trouble was provoked by the agitation of Latins 
and Italians: and the relations between Rome and these peoples 
were international affairs, which had long been claimed by the 
Senate as one of its own particular preserves, ft is possible, 
therefore,, that the Senate merely warned the Gnuxhan commis- 
sioners off public land occupied by non-Romany alleging that this 
might raise international issues with which it was its own affair to 
deal, and nominated its own representative -Tuditanus to take 
any action which might be necessary in connection with hint! of 
this particular kind, Tuditanus, of course, did nothing 1 , and the* 
Latin and Italian possessors were left undisturbed; but the Grace hun 
commissioners were free ? as before., to continue their work on 
ager fublicus where the tenants were Roman citizens* If sc\ their 
operations need not be cramped within a narrow period of years; 
they may have continued even after the censtis of 125/4; and thus 
it becomes possible to divine why Gams Gracchus, whrn his turn 
came to take up the task of finding a livelihood tor the unem- 
ployed, seems to have looked to Africa for his agrarian allotments 
and to have done no more in Italy itself than to design colonies on 
sites whose value was less agricultural than commereisii. By 
123 the available &ger pubRcti3, except that fraction which WSIH 
occupied by Latins and Italians, may well have been treated by the 
commissioners with such thoroughness that room could no longer 
be found for more than a negligible number of new farmers, 

Whatever the truth about Seipio's coup may be, it did not com- 
mend itself to the mob of Rome* Already in 1 3 1, when hr opposed 
Carbo's measure to declare legal the re-election of trihum*s, he had 
fallen foul of the Gracchan voters and there had been nomc tin- 
dignified exchanges of repartee. Now the scenes broke out again : 
men so prominent as Fulvius Flaccus took a hnnd, and Scipio 
found himself held up to almost daily execration. After of 
these "wrangles in the Forum, Scipio returned hom<% cncorfrd by it 
great following of his admirers^ to prepare a reply for the morrow, 
Next morning he was found dead, The cause of the fatality will 
never be known. Foul pky was freely suggested, and as time went 
on allegations were maae against the widoWj against all three mem- 
1 For this suggestion sec . G. Hardy, Six Iowt, p. 39. 


hers of the agrarian commission and even against Cornelia, 
mother of the GracchL But the official view, which Is to be found 
in the scanty remains of the laudatio pronounced by the faithful 
Laelius 1 , held that death was due to natural causes. This account 
is undoubtedly supported by the failure of Scipio's friends of 
whom there were many to bring the charge of murder home to 
any Individual ; but, If it is true, it must be admitted that Nature 
rid the reformers of a powerful opponent by a peculiarly well- 
timed Intervention 2 . 



With the death of Scipio the fog which enshrouds the history 
of the Gracchan age grows thicker, and all we can discern is a 
continued agitation in the Latin and Italian cities. Proposals to 
enfranchise the allies were heard; Latins and Italians thronged to 
Rome ; and the curtain had risen on the drama which ended with 
the Social War. According to Appian's account 3 , the Roman 
citizenship was offered as a mere bribe to secure allied acquiescence 
in the fullest application of the lex agraria^ but such a version is 
certainly too narrow. The activities of the land commission were 
not the only grievance of the allies. They were merely the occasion 
on which long-standing discontent found audible expression, 
and It is for this reason that the agitation continued even after Scipio 
had relieved Italian anxieties on the matter of the land. The course 
of the negotiations, if negotiations there were, Is wholly obscure. 
All we know Is that-, when the census of 125/4 was near at hand, 
such a mass of strangers had been attracted to Rome by the news 
that some relief of their burdens was in sight that recourse was 
had to a familiar means of preventing fraudulent enrolment of men 
who were not entitled to the Roman civitas* A tribune who prob- 
ably held office for the year I26/5 4 M* Junius Pennus- passed 
a law of great severity, forbidding aliens access to the city: it was 
a measure which deserved the censure passed on It by Lucilius 5 . 
A phrase from a speech delivered by Gams Gracchus in opposition 

1 Stangl, n, p. 1 1 8. Sec J. Carcopino, Autour des Gracques* pp. 114 sqq. 

2 See Carcopino, oj>. '/., pp. 83 sqq. 8 Bell. Civ. i, an, 87. 

4 Sec Carcopino, op. <riV. pp- ig^sqg. Carcopino's connection of th<5 
Lex Junia Pcnni with the proposal for enfranchisement made by ML Fulvius 

Flaccus In 125 B.C. is plausible, though it is impossible to prove that th^ 
first was a direct reply to the second. 

* See CX Cichorius* Untersuchungen xu LuciJius p pp. 212 $$. 


to Pennus 1 reveals that the measure was represented by its author 
as one designed to help the allied States. Certainly there had been 
several occasions in the recent past when these communities had 
complained that they were being depopulated by the flow of their 
citizens to Rome, where the tiwtas could be gained by simple mis- 
representation to the censors (voL vm, p. 355) But, if considera- 
tion for the allies prompted this effort to conserve their strength, 
the goodwill of Pennus contrived at the same time to prejudice 
the prospects of the agitation in Rome: for, though the Italians 
had no votes at all and the Latins none that counted on any serious 
occasion, there can be no doubt that the presence of large num- 
bers in the city, clamouring incessantly for satisfaction and redress, 
lent weight to the arguments of the orators who took up their 
cause* One such was ML Fulvius Flaccus, land-commissioner 
since 131 and consul in 125; another was Gains Gracchus, lately 
back from his quaestorship in Sardinia, The consulship of Flaccus 
was made famous by a measure, premature indeed, but neverthe- 
less one that showed some appreciation of the clangers with which 
Rome was faced. It was proposed, on terms which in detail still 
remain obscure, to enfranchise those of the allies who were willing 
to become citizens of Rome and to confer on those who preferred 
to remain outside the Roman State the right of appealing to the 
Populus against acts of tyranny by Roman magistrates 

The alternative deserves some notice. To say that what the 
Italians wanted was citizenship of Rome is untrue, if it implies. 
that they wanted the Roman citizenship as an end in itself* They 
did not, and Flaccus recognized as much by ottering the fttjt f>r<*~ 
^ocationis to those who were unwilling* to accept the full *w/A/.f. 
They had> indeedy a strong claim to what Appian 5 * would call n 
* partnership in the hegemony' (/cou/owta rijs r^yt^or'ta?); for the 
hegemony which Rome showed every sign of keeping to herself 
was the hegemony of an empire which could not nave been won 
without allied aid. But there was more at stake than a mere ques- 
tion of prestige. In general the allies needed relief from the ex- 
ploitation to which they were being subjected by Rome; in 
particular they sought protection from the minor outrages of 
Roman magistrates outrages which were not the* low exasper- 
ating because they directly affected only a few individual** here ami 
there. To accept the Roman franchise was a means by which the 
allies might attain both ends at once; hut, though for several 
reasons the best, it was not the onlj way* Another wan to cut the 
painter and set up a confederacy independent of Rome, as was 
1 Malcovati, Oret. Rom, Prg n, p. 131. * MdL Civ, i f 34, 


actually done for a moment during the Social War (p. 185 j{7.). 
Each method had its advantages, but the bill of Fulvius Flaccus is 
enough to show that the first did not find universal favour. The 
reason is simple. Rome had yet to teach the world one of her most 
precious lessons that men could combine the citizenship of Rome 
with that of their native States, and yet not jeopardize the survival 
of the smaller groups. In the second century B.C., though in 
practice Rome was coming near the great discovery, the peoples 
of Italy in general had still to shake off the old idea that no man 
could be a citizen of two States at once. They believed, in fact, that* 
if the whole citizen body of Naples entered the dvitas of Rome, 
Naples as a political unit would forthwith cease to be; and 
consequently local patriotism looked askance at the prospect of 
enrolment in the Roman body politic* For that reason Fulvius 
Flaccus offered an alternative. 

But, in spite of all his statesmanship, the measure failed to pass* 
Though his election to the consulship by itself is enough to show 
that progressive elements were now powerful in Rome, and thougii 
Gaius Gracchus supported him with all the strength of his family 
prestige, Flaccus found the Roman voters singularly lacking in en- 
thusiasm for a proposal which invited them to share their privileges 
with their neighbours. Such was the apathy of the masses, if 
not their open opposition, that the Senate took courage to inter- 
vene, though extensions of the franchise had long been recognized 
as business for the assemblies alone* After much persuasion, 
Flaccus was induced to enter the Curia, and there he found him- 
self the object, not so much of reasonable advice,, as of passionate 
appeals to desist* The result was surprising j for whatever reasonj 
whether statesmanship counselled retreat or for some less worthy 
cause, the faithful henchman of the Gracchi threw in his hand and 
accepted a military command in Gaul* Thus, for the moment, 
reform was blocked* 

"But events moved fast, and the diehards were vouchsafed none 
but the most fleeting enjoyment of success* Before the year was out, 
not Rome alone but the whole of Italy was faced with a menace 
of intestine war graver than had been known for two hundred 
years. The broad and fertile valley of the Liris^ the valley which 
formed one of the two main arteries of communication between 
Latiurn and Campania, was the centre of a group of JLatin colonies, 
and of these colonies none was more famous than Fregellae* 
Fregcllae was a large and prosperous town, with an unbroken 
record of fidelity to Rome: indeed, in the crisis of 209 
Fregellae had been the leader o those colonies which 


loyal 1 . But now, when the failure of Flaccus became known, 
Fregellae rose in what was regarded as revolt, and the complacent 
opponents of generosity to the allies suddenly discovered that 
Rome's Italian hegemony was in danger of collapse. 

The peril was plain. If one Latin city and one of unrivalled 
loyalty was impelled by its grievances to take up sirms, there 
was every danger that the rest of the Latin Name would follow: 
and if the Latins rebelled,, ingenuity would be taxed to find a 
reason why the Italians should refrain* Rome, in fact, was 
threatened with a Social War and in 1253.0. the threat was 
graver than it could be in 91* By her treatment of Fregelhie 
Rome gained a respite of more than thirty years, and these years 
she used to advantage. In the Gracchan age it could not be claimed 
that Roman troops, man for man, were better than those of the 
allies: but the Marian reform in legionary recruitment^ though it 
still left Rome without anything that can properly he called a 
standing army, did in fact give her legions composed of soldiers 
who were something like professionals. In the Social War, when 
finally it broke out., Rome could put troops in the field with a 
training probably higher than that still to be found among the 
bulk of the Italian levies, and this superior efficiency can scarcely 
have been without bearing in the issue. But when KregcIIur 
threatened trouble^ Rome's military position made it imperative to 
prevent the rot from spreading; and this was done. Fortune, in- 
aeed, was kind. If a large part of the Roman army had been 
entangled in a protracted siege, the opportunity might have* 
been too tempting for other disaffected peoples to resist : indeed, 
there is just a hint that, even as things wore, Asculum took up 
arms 2 . But timely treachery delivered Fregelke into the hand** of 
Rome, and Rome stood free to face, such others UH might challenge 
her control. That by itself was si sobering fact : but* still further to 
discourage impetuous emulation, the results of failure wen* dis- 
played* Taking its courage in both handsfor the effects of nut h 
a policy can hardly have been clearthe government imposed 
an ostentatious penalty. Though its inhabitants were spared, 
Fregellae was destroyed, and next year the colony of Fabnitcrta 
was founded to efface its memory and to take its place* 

Severity had paid: no other allied city moved: and for the* 
moment Rome could survey her confederacy intact. Bur the 
protest was not in vain; for the end of Fregellae marked the be- 
ginning of a new phase in Roman history* Hitherto the con- 

1 The doubts which have been cast on tlm incident (set* II 
Grundriss etc.* p, lag, n* a) are gratuitous. * d* ill. 65, 


servative aristocracy and the selfish rabble of the city might scoff 
at suggestions of a need for juster treatment of the allies : now 
their eyes were open, and, though anger might find vent in pro- 
secutions against men alleged to have aided and abetted the rebels, 
none but the blind could fail to see that there was an urgent pro- 
blem to be faced and one which brooked no trifling. Beyond all 
doubt the grievances of the allies had become the foremost ques- 
tion of the day. Such were the circumstances in which, towards 
the middle of 124, Gaius Gracchus was first elected tribune. 


Gaius entered office on ro December 124, and forthwith there 
began two years of political activity which in significance for the 
future as well as in the difficulty of the problems they present 
are unique in the story of the Roman Republic. The difficulties 
ate due, above all, to the lack of any first-class authority. Of those 
which have survived, Appian is perhaps the most valuable, though 
his account of Gaius Gracchus lacks the outstanding merits of his 
chapters on Tiberius. But, even so, Appian is a slender reed to 
lean on : the first book of the Ci*uil Wars is, at most, the briefest 
sketch of the period with which it deals, designed to serve as an 
introduction to what follows, and nothing more. Velleius frankly 
makes no attempt at an ordered account of these two years. It is 
Plutarch who gives the fullest version, and on Plutarch it is often 
necessary to rely. Among his sources may be discerned one which 
Appian ignored, and this source is by no means of the best, 
A statement cannot, indeed, be rejected merely because it rests on 
the authority of Plutarch alone; but doubts about its value must 
exist, and the result is to make any reconstruction of the tri- 
bunates of Gaius largely hypothetical. Too often the basis must 
be an assumption that what Plutarch says is true. It remains to 
mention our most grievous loss, the loss of Livy's sixtieth book 
of which nothing of value but the Epitome survives. The brief 
accounts of Appian, Velleius and the Epitomator naturally concen- 
trate on the small achievements of these years ; the full text of Livy 
would have revealed the greater aspirations* It' is our inability, 
with any kind of confidence, to set the measures actually passed in 
the context of the whole programme of which they formed a part 
that too often makes the history of Gaius Gracchus a matter of 
mere speculation. 

Any account of Gaius* tribunates must begin with some con-^ 
sideration of the order in which his measures were produced : for, 

C.A.K. IX 4 


in such a case as this, chronology gives some of the most useful 
clues to the nature of the programme as a whole. Here, un- 
fortunately,, the contemporary evidence of his speeches, fragments 
of which are freely preserved, fail to do more than reveal that 
several measures were proposed together: this much may he in- 
ferred from the existence of an oration * de legihus promulgatis 1 . 
At the outset the general situation must he recalled, The events of 
the last twelve months, and above all the rebellion at I^regellae, 
had made the question of Rome's relations with her allies in Italy 
a matter of such burning urgency that beyond all dispute it was 
the paramount problem of the day. Even if the authorities were 
less lucid than they are 3 it would still be possible to say with some 
assurance that no statesman in office in 123 R,C, can have failed to 
make it, if not his only aim, at least one of the chief objects of his 
endeavour to satisfy the just claims of the Latins and Italians. And 
in the case of Gaius Gracchus this conjecture is confirmed. 
Plutarch, at least, is clear,, not only that the culmination of his 
activity as tribune came in a struggle over a bill designed to 
meet the allied demands^ but what is more that it was in 
the interests of this reform that Gaius risked, and lost, all his 
hard-won influence 1 . This was, of course, only one of many 
tasks to which he set his hand, but there is sufficient evidence to 
show that it was among the nearest to his heart. Though it 4 would 
be an exaggeration to say that a solution of the Italian problem 
was an end to which all the other measures of (rains C interims 
were,, in one way or an other 5 the means, there can he no doubt 
that his proposals about the allies were the dominating feature of 
his designs. 

Such is the first consideration; and with these proposals, too^ 
the second is concerned. Sometime in the winter of 1232, aoon 
after the beginning of Gains* second year of office * the leadership of 
the opposition was assumed by another tribune, ML Livlus Drusua. 
Drusus set himself to destroy the Graechan majority in the Con- 
cilium Plcbisj and to this end he countered several of the nwr 
serious proposals made by Gaius with others which were framed 
to appeal more strongly to the vulgar taste* Now^ when Plutarch 
includes among these counter-measures one which secured to the 
Latins immunity from flogging even on active service, he gives 
an invaluable clue to the history of the Gracchan programme, 
Drusms was not unfolding any original policy of his own : he was 
merely hanging on the heels of his rival and trying to cap each 
move that Gaius made with another which, though tending In the 

* Gracchi, 33* 


same direction, might win a larger meed of popular support. Thus 
Plutarch Is wholly plausible when he says that Gracchus had 
already broached the question of the Latins before Drusus pro- 
duced his alternative plan for its solution. 

But there is more than this. The literary evidence for the Italian 
policy of Gracchus falls naturally into two classes. On the one 
hand Velleius 1 is definite that he offered the citizenship to all 
Italians^ and with this testimony goes a passage in Plutarch 2 , On 
the other hand Appian 3 ., possibly supported by Plutarch else- 
where 4 3 suggests a bill which affected the Latins alone, and it is 
this suggestion which the action of Livius Drusus confirms. There 
is no reason to deny that Italians and Latins had come to Rome in 
numbers to air their grievances; but they were not the people 
whose favour Drusus tried to win. The objects of his blandishment 
were the citizens of Rome,, whose votes it was his business to de- 
tach from Gaius Gracchus; and it was for Roman citizens alone 
that Drusus' bait was laid. About the nature of the bait itself there 
is no dispute : it was his proposal to protect Latins from scourging 
by Roman officers. Nor need there be any less certainty about the 
form of its appeal. One of the features which appears most regu- 
larly in Roman history of the second century B.C. is the reluctance 
of Roman citizens to share their privileges with others : only two 
years before it had been seen in the consulship of Flaccus. If that 
be remembered, the reasoning of Drusus is clear. Beyond all doubt 
his contention was simply this- that his own proposal was enough 
to deal with the issue at stake, and that there was no need for the 
Roman voters to go to such lengths of distasteful generosity as 
those to which Gaius Gracchus was inviting them* Gracchus, as 
has been seen, had already adumbrated a change in the status of 
the Latins : apparently he had advocated their enfranchisement 
outright* Drusus replied that such a concession was uncalled for ; 
the Latins would be satisfied with a final guarantee against cor- 
poral punishment. 

So much is familiar; but the argument may be carried further 5 . 
The action of Drusus implies, indeed, that Gracchus had already 
rained the question of the Latins; but it implies with almost equal 
force that Gracchus had not yet raised the question of the Italians 
in general* As a counterblast to an offer of the Roman civitas to the 

1 ii, 6, 2* 2 Gracchi* 26, x. 

* Bell* Chh i, 23* 99. 

4 Gracchi, 29* a. It is impossible to say whether Plutarch is here referring 
exclusively to the recruitment of the Gracchan colonists or not 

5 On this see W* Warde Fowler In Eng* Hist. JJw X5, xgoSrpu 4514, 


Latin Name,, the suggestion ascribed to Drusus Is intelligible : but 
It would become meaningless, or nearly so> if Gracchus at this 
stage had formulated his plan for dealing with the Italians as well. 
To meet a scheme which included in its scope the whole non- 
Roman population of Italy, so far as it was Free, with a paltry 
proposal which envisaged a concession to the Latins and did 
nothing for the Italians at all would have been absurd. Our evidence 
is admittedly inadequate; but, so Far as it goes, it points straight 
to the conclusion that, when Drusus intervened. Gains had still to 
reveal his intentions about the Italians at large. Thus confirmation 
is forthcoming for the suggestion of our authorities that in the 
history of Gaius* policy for dealing with the allies of Rome two 
phases are to be distinguished. In the firstj which Falls before the 
campaign of Drusus, his attention was confined to the Latins 
alone: in the second, which cannot be placed long before the 
elections in the summer of 122^ his net was cast wider, to cover 
Latins and Italians alike, 

The troubles of the allies are not the only subject on which the 
Gracchan policy shows a visible development: two distinct mea- 
sures can be detected again in the evidence for his dealings with 
the quaestio repetundarum* According to the Kpitomator oF J avy, 
Gaius Gracchus intended to leave the juries us he Found them: 
they were still to be composed of senators, and the only change he 
would have introduced was an increase in the numbers of the 
Senate from three hundred to nine, by the addition of six hundred 
recruits from the richest class outside the senatorial order* 
Plutarch's story is the same in all respects save onethat if re- 
duces the new senators from six hundred to three* But against 
Plutarch and the Epitomator there stands a solid mass of evidence 
for the view that what Gains did, so far from being merely to 
enlarge the Senate* was to deprive senators of their right to sit 
on juries altogether; and this view Is confirmed by the con- 
temporary testimony of the repetundat law still in part preserved. 
There ^ can be no serious doubt that this was the final outcome 
of Gains' attempt to improve the administration of criminal 
justice, but the significance of the variant account given by 
the Livian Efitome and Plutarch is less clear* One fact, how- 
ever, is beyond dispute ; the emphatic repetitions of the 'Kpito- 
mator make it plain that he was surprised at the statements of the 
text before him. Surprise provokes attention, and in such a case 
it is impossible to^ suppose that the abbrcviator failed to under- 
stand his original. Thus, whether Livy be right or wrong, there Is 
a strong presumption that his authority is behind this story of 


additions to the Senate, and it is also to be observed that 
Plutarch shows a version which in essentials is the same. Yet, even 
so, there remains the possibility that Livy was mistaken, A pos- 
sibility it is; but Livy on the second century is not Livy on the 
fifth, and it is wholly improbable either that he himself confused 
Gaius Gracchus with the younger Livius Drusus or that he blindly 
followed a source which fell into so gross an error. 

On its merits alone, the tale should be accepted, even though it 
may record no more than a tentative suggestion which Gaius threw 
out ; but there are also other considerations on its side. When Appian 
asserts that it was the prevalence of corruption which turned the 
attention of Gaius to the mdida, his assertion gains credence from 
the fact that bribery in court was a subject on which Gracchus 
passed a law- His proposals, in fact, were not aimed at party ends 
alone : the juries were not above reproach, and he tackled their 
constitution because they stood in need of serious reform. Now 
such an undertaking, of undoubted value and limited extent, be- 
longs to a type with which Gaius seems to have opened his legis- 
lative career: its appropriate place is in 123 B,C, But 123 was a 
year during a large part of which, if Plutarch is to be believed 1 , 
Gracchus showed himself so moderate that even the Senate did not 
openly oppose him ; indeed we gather that the earliest sign of open 
hostility was seen in the advent of Livius Drusus. It cannot, how- 
ever, be supposed that the comparatively good relations between 
Gracchus and the Senate survived a proposal to expel senators 
from the juries neck and crop; and consequently it may be 
inferred that, if, as is probable, some plan to improve the admini- 
stration of justice was promulgated before Drusus arose, it must 
have been mild in character, like that which Livy and Plutarch 

By itself, perhaps, such an argument in favour of an earlier 
scheme, which finally gave place to one of a more drastic kind, 
might justly be set aside as the merest speculation; but it finds 
powerful support from another direction. Among the measures 
of Gaius Gracchus whose existence allows no dispute was one 
which made the bribery of jurors a criminal offence, and this law, 
as Cicero explicitly records 2 , was remarkable for a great peculiarity 
that it did not apply to courts constituted under the famous 
Gracchan /*# iudiciaria. The origin of this anomaly has been 
variously explained* Some have found it possible to believe that 
Gracchus was concerned for the rectitude of special courts which, 
the Senate, with or without the concurrence of the People, might 
1 Gracchi, 27, I. a pro Clumtio* 56, 154* . 


form from time to time, and that he purposely refrained from In- 
cluding the permanent indicium for the trial of charges of extortion 
within the scope of his law. But that the jurors serving in what 
was now the most stable element in the whole administration of 
criminal justice should have been deliberately exempted from 
penalties for corruption is a supposition which only the strongest 
evidence would commend; and, when we recall that it was the 
coiTuptioii of this very court which is said to have moved Gracchus 
to action, it seems far more probable, that the true explanation lies 
elsewhere. Until Gaius Gracchus decided to draw jurors from 
another source, jury-service in these cases had been confined to 
members of the Senate, and it is by far the most plausible assump- 
tion that he drafted a law against bribery in a form affecting 
none but senatorial jurors at a time when he had not yet envisaged 
the idea of recruiting juries from another source. The law against 
bribery and the proposal to augment the numbers of the Senate 
belong to one phase in his career,, when he was stil! content with 
the existing constitution of juries: the final /<\v iudidtirirt marks a 
later stage ? when, his tolerance of senators had passed* 

So much is enough to provide a chronological framework for 
the legislation of Gaius Gracchus* Two of the most serious pro- 
blems which he essayed to solve were those of the relations be- 
tween Rome and her allies and of the judicial system in one of its 
main departments, and in both connections his proposals are two. 
Each pair consists of one measure which is mild and of another 
more drastic,, and in each case the more modest scheme comes 
first. In the light of these considerations it is easy to set* that 
Gaius* tribunician career is Itself to he divided into periods^ in the 
first of which his attitude was far less radical than in the second. 
Where the division should be placed the evidence is too vague tci 
show with any great precision; but in the surviving records it in 
the intervention of JLivius Drusus which marks Its coming, and 
this is probably to be put either at the very end of 123 or" in the 
first weeks of 122 B*C* In a case where stricter accuracy is im- 
possible, 123 may be regarded as the year of Gracchus* modera- 
tion and 122 as that of his more violent reforms. To 123 belong 
his schemes to enfranchise the Latins and to strengthen the juries 
by adding new members to the Senate, to 122 his more sweeping 
plan to deal with Latins and Italians together and his fanumtt law 
which took the juries out of senatorial hands and gave them ewer 
to another order in the State. 

To a proper understanding of Gaius Gracchus* tribumcmn 
career the main essential is an appreciation of the development 


which his outlook underwent after he had taken office. He began 
as a statesman, anxious to effect necessary reforms with the smallest 
amount of friction. For a time he succeeded: but at length his 
opponents declared open war through the mouth of Livius 
Drusus, and from that moment Gracchus was driven to the less 
pleasing methods of the party politician. Such is the tale in out- 
line : the details must now be added* 


The most urgent necessities of the moment found a response in 
the personal interests of Gaius Gracchus : the outstanding need 
was for a settlement of the Italian problem, and Gaius* sympathy 
with the allies was already so notorious in 1 24 that he was included 
among those who were haled before a court to answer the charge 
of aiding Fregellae in her revolt. But, though we may believe 
that from the start Ms supreme ambition was to remove the 
causes of that ill-will which was jeopardizing the relations of 
Rome with her confederacy, this was not the subject of his earliest 
bills. Such information on the order of events as has survived is 
unanimous in assigning to the first months of office a varied assort- 
ment of measures, intended perhaps in different degrees to pre- 
pare the way for greater undertakings to come. At the outset there 
are two proposals, marked off from the rest and connected with 
one another by their undoubted reference to single incidents in 
the recent past. In the agitating tribunate of Tiberius nothing had 
raised wider issues or more furious disputes than the deposition 
of Octavius by popular vote. The principle that the People might 
remove a tribune who thwarted the People's will was a principle 
by which Gaius, steeped like his brother in the political doctrines 
of Greece,, seems to have set great store. Somehow, if the Gracchan 
ideal of the tribunate as the mouthpiece and executive of the 
People was to be attained, the principle must be set up ; the ques- 
tion was how? Boldly to proclaim it would be to invite the 
criticism that a new and alien element was being grafted on the 
Roman constitution : a better way was to assume its presence from 
the start a pedantic assumption,, it is true, though one for which 
plausible arguments could be produced. Accordingly, Gaius gave 
notice of a measure to debar from further office any magistrate or 
tribune of the p/e&s whom the People had deposed* Unquestion- 
ably it was inspired by the case of Octavius, but there is no reason 
to suppose that personal animosity was the motive, Gaius was 
aiming far higher than at any individual : he was threatening the 


oligarchs* ancient practice of using the tribunate to block reform, 
It was a bold gambit for a young man new to power,, perhaps too 
bold. Cornelia disapproved, and the bill was withdrawn : but a 
proposal at once so subtle and so drastic served at least to show 
that an able man had arisen whose views of reform stretched far 1 * 
The second measure was less extreme and for that reason met 
a better fate. On occasions when the Senate had successfully over- 
come a movement of some danger to its own interests or to the 
safety of the State it had been in the habit of establishing a special 
court to try the alleged offenders. A magistrate was appointed to 
take charge of the proceedings; he chose his cQiniliitm\ and thus 
was formed a tribunal which might pass ? if not execute, any sen- 
tence known to the law* Such had been the body which wreaked 
almost indiscriminate vengeance on the supporters of Tiberius 
(see above, p. 36 sq} and such was the body which dealt with the 
friends of Fregcllae among them, possibly, with Gains Gracchus 
himself. In the last resort the action of courts like these derived 
its validity from the power of cocrcitio latent in the impcriuni oi the 
presiding magistrate; and that power was one which, in its in- 
appellable form, it was the express purpose of the le^es fie />nn wvi- 
tione to confine to cases of less than capital degree. If a court 
established by the Senate denied the right of appeal from its judg- 
ments in cases even of the gravest kind) the claim could not be 
sustained; the limitations which beset n magistrate's imfwrium 
when he was acting* on his own initiative remained in law un- 
changed when he acted at the Senate's instigation. That was the 
fact which Gracchus now proposed to set beyond dispute*. The 
extent and details of his measure are obscure, That judicial bodies 
erected by the Senate were the main object of his concern, whether 
he also reasserted the right of prwocatio in general terms or not, is 
suggested by the words of Cicero 2 and proved by the immediate 
sequel* Just as 1VL Octavius had been recognized as the target of 
the proposal to disqualify from further office those who had 
once been deposed,, so now Popillius Laenas saw the first intended 
victim in himself* As consul In 132, Popillius had sat on the bench 
before which the associates of Tiberius Gracchus were arraigned, 
and now he was chosen as the scapegoat whose sacrifice to 

1 The authenticity of the quotations purporting to come from the letters* 
of Cornelia is so dubious that the fragments cannot safely be used m evidence 
for such minor problems as they affect. A convenient bibliography of the 
subject is to be found in Hermes LVI 1921 f p. 273 n. (E. von Stern), to which 
should now be added H* Malcovati in jtthtnaeum, 1920, p. 92 Mid f, H. 
Thxel in Mmm. LVXI, 1929, p. 347. ^ pro Rk ptr& rto, 4, ist/ 


atone for outrage done to the rights of Roman citizens. Gains 
himself was foremost in the prosecution^ and Popillius was driven 
into exile, accompanied, perhaps 5 though this is doubtful, by the 
worthy Rupilius whose misfortune it had been to find Popillius 
his colleague in the consulship* The reformers had scored a 
point, and Gracchus had established his contention that none 
but the People could alienate the People's right to the final word 
when the capuf of a Roman citizen was at stake 1 . 

Such were the measures which political prudence demanded as 
a reply to the Senates behaviour In the past. If one was with- 
drawn, the other was passed : and even the former had served a 
useful purpose by proclaiming the doctrine that a magistrate might 
be deposed a doctrine which was not rejected, because no vote 
was taken on the bill. Next come the schemes which looked rather 
to the future schemes for progress and reform, which are the 
true contribution of Gaius Gracchus to the history of Rome. 
Among the first of these we have the authority of Appian for 
placing the famous lex frumentaria & law which, because it has 
usually been misunderstood, has done more damage to its author's 
reputation than all his other measures combined. He has been 
accused of bribing the voters, of corrupting the poor by the pro- 
mise of partial maintenance at the public expense, and even of 
stultifying himself by spoiling the markets in which his small- 
holders would have to sell their corn and by offering with one 
hand new temptations to a life of idleness in the city while in the 
other he held out. land-allotments and colonies to attract the un- 
employed to a life of industry elsewhere, But such charges are 
wide of the mark* Since the great famine which began in 329 B.C. 
the cities of the Hellenistic world had recognized more and more 
widely that it was the business of a government to see that the food- 
supply of the community was both adequate and cheap ; indeed, 
some of the smaller states had gone so far as to make arrangements 
whereby the food of the poorer citixens, in one way or another^ 
was supplied free 2 . To lengths so extreme as this Gaius Gracchus 
was not prepared to go; but the view that the feeding of the people 
is a matter for the State he adopted without reserve. And there 
was need* Except in the stress of the Second Punic War,, Rome 

1 The procedure against Popillius also suggests that Gracchus carried the 
constitutional development a stage farther by entrusting the sanctions of this 
law to the Concilium Plebis instead of to the Comitia Ccnturiata, Sec 
A, H, J. Greenidge, Legal Procedure of Cicero's Time, pp. 324 sga* 

a The evidence for this may be found conveniently collected fey W W* 
Tarn in his Ildknhtlc Clmtimtim* ed 2, p. 99, with notes. 


had not lately known a famine; but there Is evidence enough to 
show that the volume of supply had fluctuated so violently as to 
Involve seasonal variations in price of serious dimensions: and at 
this time the situation was especially acute because Sicily was still 
suffering from the effects of the Servile War and the African 
harvest had been gravely damaged by an unprecedented swarm 
of locusts (see below> p. 73). Strictly contemporary evidence for 
these fluctuations Is lacking, but there are Illustrations of the 
uncertainty of the market in other periods which are not wholly 
irrelevant to the Gracchan age. Cicero, for instance* records that 
in Sicily the year 76 B.C. was one of low prices whereas in 75 
prices were extremely high 1 ^ and that In 74 wheat, which had been 
fetching the extraordinary figure of five denarii a mvdius he tore 
the harvest) became dirt-cheap as soon as the new crop was avail- 
able 2 * Sudden variation of price was the source of the most serious 
trouble., and to ensure that throughout the year corn should he on 
the market In sufficient quantities and at a stable figure was the 
most laudable of alms. It was this that Gracchus set out to 
achieve* Though It is not expressly stated by our authorities,, there 
cannot be the slightest doubt that the great granaries which he 
built beneath the Aventine were an essential part of the scheme* 
The corn Itself might come in part from the provincial i/<r//w^% 
but the rest must be bought either under the provincial ar- 
rangements for frumenti emptio or in the open market; ami It was 
clearly the function of these barns to store corn long enough to 
allow such purchases as were inevitable to be made when prices 
were at bottom or near it. The wasteful method of buying for Im- 
mediate consumption without regard to the state of the murker 
was at an end, and It remained to fix the charge at which the stuff 
should be sold to the consumer. 

The question of the charge is vital; on its relation to the rro- 
nomic cost of the corn thus put upon the market 1 any true judg- 
ment of the scheme must depend. The price at which (tains 
Gracchus offered Ms corn for sale was 6| a a figure 

which by itself Is of Interest because It is singularly unlike: the 
round sum of a purely nominal charge* Unfortunately our evi- 
dence for the normal cost of corn in the Graeehan *w almost 
wholly to seek, but It Is worth while to notice a relevant passage of 
Polyblus 3 , When he passed through the valley of the Po, probably 
not more than fifteen years before the tribunates of Gaiun Grac- 
chus, Polybms was astounded at the fertility of the country, where* 
a Sicilian medimnm of wheat could be bought for four oboi$ or & 
1 ii In ftrr, m, 93, 2 1 6, a /*. 92, 214-5, * *S* * 


Roman modius for i-J asses i and barley fetched only half this price. 
Thus the charge on which Gracchus decided for the sale of wheat 
in Rome was between four and five times as high as its cost in the 
open markets of Cisalpine Gaul when Polybius was there* Though 
the soil of the Lombard Plain was exceptional and though Poly- 
bius admittedly saw it in a bumper year, the figures he gives may 
perhaps be taken to suggest that the Gracchan charge in Rome 
was not wholly ludicrous. Doubtless it was far below the prices 
which had generally prevailed when the market was uncontrolled, 
but it was perhaps not lower than the price at which, with the help 
of judicious buying on a large scale when grain was most freely 
to be had> the State might hope to sell without serious loss to itself. 
Such a suggestion is confirmed by Cicero's remark 1 that the 
speeches of Gracchus read like those of a champion of the Trea- 
sury, though It Is to be observed that Gaius seems to have made 
some effort to raise new revenue by extending the system of 
portoria^*, and even so the needs of the corn-supply were found to 
be a drain on the exchequer (see below, p. 95). 

Whatever the relation in which this price may have stood to the 
prices prevailing before, the project was not one which can justly 
be called a dole* The work of Gaius was open to none of the 
damning criticisms which may be brought against the demagogic 
abuses grafted on to it, possibly by Saturnmus (p. 165 sq. below) 
and certainly by Clodius (p* 524 below). Gracchus did not give away 
something for nothing, and it Is plain that the penniless could no 
more pay 6\ asses for a modius of wheat than they could pay what- 
ever wheat had cost in the days before control. The lew frument&ria 
did little, if anything, to keep In Rome those whom it was the ob- 
ject of other laws to settle in colonies or on the land. Nor did it 
affect the livelihood of the small-holders set up by his brother and 
himself. It has been seen already (p. 4) that it was not on such 
as these that the city of Rome depended for its food. Difficulties 
of transport by land compelled men scattered up and down the 
peninsula to sell In the nearest town so much of their crops as they 
did not need themselves. Generally the surplus could not be sent 
to Rome, and It Is a gratuitous assumption that the road-building 
which Gracchus undertook 3 was meant to ease the carriage of corn 
from the country districts to Rome* There Is no reason to suppose 
that this was more than one of many means to the temporary relief 
of unemployment, or to deny that Its permanent value was to be 

1 Tusc* Di$p* in, 20, 48, 

ft Veil Pat n, 6, 3$ Gellius, N.J* xi, 10, 3, 

^ Plutarch, Gracchi* 27, 25 Appian, BM Gty. x, &3 ^ 


found In the improvement of local communications rather than 
those of the rest of Italy with Rome 1 . 

About the arrangements in their details our evidence is almost 
wholly silent. We do not know what limit, If any, was set to the 
amount of corn which any individual might buy at the Grace-ham 
price, nor Is It certain that it was sold to any citizen^ who applied 
and not merely to the poor. The fact that the institution was not a 
dole makes it probable that all citizens were served alike, and the 
probability is strengthened by other considerations. If the privi- 
lege had been confined to a section of the people, it is unlikely that 
the machinery for drawing up the lists of authorized recipients 
would still have needed, eighty years later, the elementary atten- 
tion which it received from Julius Caesar-* Again, if such had 
been the case, there would be little point in a talc which Cicero 
tells 3 : L. Piso annalist, author of JLex Oilpurnia ropetumiarum, 
consul in 133 B.C. and staunch opponent of Gains < trace h us* 
attained some notoriety by presenting himself when corn was 
being sold and demanding his rightful share* 

Livy and Appian, our only authorities for the order of thc % 
Gracchan laws, agree that the kx jrumentaria belongs to the first 
year of office, All the rest are put into the second by Appiun, and 
by Livy with the exception of the colonial schemes into the 
first. To reconcile these divergent views, though with evidence 
so scanty conjecture can be plausible at best^ no attempt is more 
attractive than that which assumes that Appian has mistaken the 
election of Gracchus to a second tribunate for his entry on a 
second year of office; he has confused some month about 
July in 123 with the following December 4 . If that assumption 
be right s much at any rate of what Appian assigns to the 
second year belongs to the latter half of the first; and it has often 
been observed with justice that no time is more appropriate tn 
the intensest political activity of Gains Gracchus the period 

immediately after his re-election, when his position 
for eighteen months to come. Thus, though it would be rash to 
assert that none of^the measures next to he discussed 
before the tributrician elections of 123, since they can be treated 
best ^ together, their most fitting place for notice is after the 
election itself* 

1 For a suggestion that Tiberius Gracchus had laid the foundation* of 
an Italian postal service sec A, M. Ramsay, in %R*$* x xaao, p. 84 so. 

2 Sec Brans, Pent***, 18, 11 i $ n% f 

3 Tust. Dtsp, m, 20, 48. 

4 See Ed. Meyer, Kltma Schrift^n^ P, p. 394, n. 3* 



The circumstances in which Gracchus became tribune for a 
second time are something of a puzzle. It was in seeking to secure 
a second term that Tiberius, ten years before, had provoked the 
final crisis in his career : he had been lynched in making an attempt 
which his brother Gaius now repeated with safety and success. In 
131 B.C. Carbo had essayed to declare legal the continued tenure 
of the tribunate; but the influence of Sciplo Aemilianus had been 
lent to his more extreme opponents and Carbo had failed 1 . Then, iti 
123, Gaius Gracchus was made tribune for the following year, and 
nothing is heard of resistance or complaint. It is natural to assume 
that since 131, though his fame has perished from the records, 
some more fortunate successor had carried the project of Carbo 
into law; and this, indeed, is what Appian would have us under- 
stand. But that his story is more than mere assumption it is 
difficult to say* He purports to give some details of the measures 
whereby re-election was authorized, but, as they stand, his words 
are almost meaningless. They allege that by this supposed enact- 
ment the People might choose one of the existing board to hold 
office again in the following year if at the elections there were 
fewer candidates than places to be filled a story which is most 
unsatisfactory. However suave his manner may have been, there 
must have been some people in Rome prepared to take the simple 
steps required to have done with Gracchus; and if this version 
were correct, to end his tribunician career forthwith it would have 
been enough for them to see that ten plebeians, it mattered not 
who, stood for the tribunates of 122. With the various proposals 
that have been made to emend the words of Appian this is no place 
to deal; for there is some reason to believe that no such law was 
passed* Sallust, in a passage which bears closely on the present 
issue, records that in no public business in Rome suffered 
long and serious delays from the wranglings which were started 
when two of the tribunes, P. Lucullus and Lu AnniuSj tried to 
secure office for a second year 2 . It is not easy to believe that dis- 
putes so protracted as these could have occurred if the subject 
was one on which legislation had been passed less than twenty 
years before* Appian may be obscure; but the law itself, had it 
existed, must have been capable of interpretation in less than the 
months that were spent in argument. Though confidence on such 
a point is impossible, it is by no means unlikely that no measure 
on this subject had been passed so recently as the Gracchan 1 
* See above, p. 38 sy. * Bell. Jug. 37", -a*,- 


It was custom, not law, which stood in the way of a tribune 
seeking to remain in office (see above,, p. 33 jy,);^nnd when conven- 
tion is the obstacle prestige is the strength of an attack. Gaius 
Gracchus^ a man whose personal influence was far greater than his 
brother's, may well have succeeded where his brother failed; and 
it is possible^ though by no means certain, that Appian's story of 
a law which authorized this re-election is a mere inference made 
by some historian who failed to understand that custom was the 
barrier and that Gaius had authority enough to break it down* 
Whatever the truth may be, the renewal was secured, and when 
the elections were over Gracchus could count on something like 
eighteen months of office in which to carry the more serious of his 
reforms. Circumstances now seemed favourable. Kulvius Pkceus 
was on the new board of tribunes, and even in the consulship there 
was an ally. Of the consuls of 123 one at least^ Q. Metellus 
Balearicus^ son of the censor of 131, was no friend of progress, nor 
is it known that his colleague, T. Flamininus, did anything to help 
the Gracchan cause* But at the elections for 122^ when sonic sug- 
gested that Gaius had ideas of the consulship for himself, he sud- 
denly began to canvass for Gaius Fannius^ a Whig of the Scipkmic 
type; and Fannius was duly elected* In the end he* proved a 
broken reed; but at the start he doubtless seemed a staff to 
lean on. 


The measures which compose the main body of the (iracchan 
programme fall naturally into three rough groups. There are thosic 
which continued the work of Tiberius in providing for the surplus 
population,, those which dealt with the administration of justice* 
and finally the proposals made to solve the central problem of the* 
day the problem of Rome's relations to the rent of Italy, Hut, 
besides these 3 there are a few enactments which stand in isolation: 
though they lack neither interest nor value, they show no obvious 
connection with one another or with the rest, and they may con- 
veniently be dismissed at once- One was an army-law, which, for- 
bade the enlistment of youths below a certain a#c l and laid upon 
the State the burden of supplying the clothing of the froopsu 

1 The age seems to have been seventeen (Plutarch, Gracchi* 26, *). The 
statement of Diodorus (xxxiv--v, 25^ i) that Gains Gracchus relaxed the 

discipline of the^armv is too va^ue fay itself to be of value* and certainly it 
docs not authorize jthc conclusion^ that the lex milltark citwaeiw on 

active service the right of prommtw against capital sentences by their 

commanders. This protection had been granted already, protably 6y one 


However desirable, the reform by itself was small; but It deserves 
notice as the herald of a more drastic change to come. By the 
centuriate system legionary service was normally confined to 
citizens of substance, able to equip themselves when they were 
called to arms, and no use was made of the humblest class which 
could best be spared from civil life. Nevertheless, in course of 
time the minimum assessment required to make men eligible for 
the army had gradually been lowered until now there were legion- 
aries so poor that they could neither find their own equipment 
nor afford the stoppage from their meagre pay made when it was 
provided by the State. The day was at hand when Marius would 
enrol the prole tarn without disguise. 

Next may come a pair of bills concerned with provincial ad- 
ministration. By a long-standing custom, after consuls had been 
elected by the People, the Senate chose provinces which they should 
govern when the time came for them to take command abroad. 
This practice was one which accorded ill with the doctrines of 
democracy. That the Senate had regularly abused its power of 
patronage cannot be alleged : the empire itself was sufficient re- 
futation of such a charge. But the privilege was still objectionable, 
especially in times when party-feeling ran high; for by this 
arrangement the Senate was enabled to adjust a consul's rewards 
to his service towards itself. Loyal oligarchs received the plums of 
empire, whereas a radical might find himself condemned to a thank- 
less term of exile in Sardinia or the like. But ? though temptation 
was there., we cannot point to a specific case in which the Senate's 
action was such as to call for immediate reform : more probably it 
was because he regarded the prevailing custom as c pessiml exempli 
nee sui saeculi ' that Gracchus intervened. By the Lex Semproma 
de provmcils consularibus, while the Senate was left with Its right 
to assign the provinces a provision quite in harmony with the 
moderate tone which Gracchus adopted at this stage of his career, 
It was ordained that the Senate should come to its decision before 
the consuls were elected, and not after, The change Involved was 
great* Hitherto the Senate had assigned provinces to consuls 
already elected : now the People were to elect consuls to provinces 
already assigned. Yet, however necessary It may have been to 
satisfy the purism of the democratic doctrinaires, the change was 

of the Leges Porcfae* In any case the proposal of Livius Drusus, if it 

extended prcwocatw to Latins even when serving, as Plutarch asserts, implied 
that Roman citizens had the same privilege, ana this Is also to be deduced- 
from Brans, Fontes* \ 10, 1. 78. It is inconceivable that Latins should 1 J 1 

been put in a better position than 


not one to move the applause which belongs to truejreform. The 

incompetence and venality of the many were preferred^ to the 
possible dishonesty of the few: in the light of events during the 
next eighty years it is difficult to say which was tho^ravor peril. 
One fact alone need be added. There is a passage of Cicero 1 which 
seems to show that a clause was included in this law to rentier the 
Senate's allocations immune from tribunician veto a notable 
recognition by the most famous tribune in Roman history of the 
misuse to which his office might be put. The misuse itself is 
familiar enough: but here it is revealed that (Jains did nor trust 
the threat of legal deposition to keep tribunes faithful to the cause 
they were conceived to represent 2 . 

The second enactment on imperial administration concerned 
the affairs of a specific region the troublesome province of Asia, 
In spite of the Lex Aquilia (see below, p. 106), the bequest of 
Attains III still supplied enough to oeexipy the attentions of Roman 
statesmen in such time as they could spare from the culls of domestic 
legislation. The fate of those outlying districts which were not 
worth the trouble of annexation was still a subject of almost con- 
tinual intrigue; but even the province itself hatl yet to he re- 
organized as a unity for the purpose of taxation* The significance 
of the arrangements made by the Lex Sempronia 4k* provincia 
Asia,, so far as it deserves a place in the history of provincial 
government^ will be discussed elsewhere (see below, pn> 467 'f<p.); 
but this measure has so close a bearing CHI the political position in 
Rome itself that it cannot be left unnoticed in the present place, 

The system whereby the direct taxes were assessed an a fixed 
fraction of the annual produce was one well suited to the economy 
of the ancient world: when the main source of revenue was the 
soil, nothing could be more equitable than that the State should 
share with the tax-payer in the upland-do wnn of seasonal vicis- 
situdes* But the system had its defects, of which the most serious 
was its complication* The labour involved in settling the amount 
due from individual land-owners called for a staff of HOITIC dimen- 
sions, and such a staff it was beyond the power of the government 
to provide* The Romans were still amateurs in empire: the days 

font. 7, 175 c Bruns, f^ntts t t 10, L 70 $q. 

* The tale, preserved in the second of the two StMwnat aHcribcii to 
Sallust (fid Can. n 8, 1-2), that Gains attempted some reform In the Cotnttia 

Ccnturiata may be ignored. The author, a rhetorician probably of the 
second century A.D. (BQQ 6\% xvw, 1923, pp. 94 s$g*) 9 hm no clear Idea of 
what he is trying to describe (& p. 98), and even he docs 1101 that this 

proposal ever became law, 


of bureaucracy were still remote , and such a civil service as 
they could boast was as yet the merest embryo. When Gaius 
Gracchus decided that Asia should pay Rome an annual tithe, he 
solved the problem of collection by a device which had long been 
familiar : the State was to shuffle off its duties on to other shoulders 3 
and private contractors were to be invoked to supply the necessary 
labour. Contractors had been freely employed in the past. It was 
they who worked the mines and other such productive properties 
of the State; it was they who collected the customs-dues and so 
made good the lack of a public customs-service ; and it was they 
who undertook both the building and the maintenance of what we 
should call public works. Even in the tax-collection in Sicily they 
had a part to play; but the smallness of the tax-areas into which 
Sicily was split meant that there the local financiers could compete 
with any rivals from Rome. Now, however, the direct taxes of 
Asia as a whole were to be put up for auction at Rome : the State 
would take the highest bid in lieu of the revenue and the bidder 
would then be authorized to recoup himself by collecting the taxes 
throughout the province. These contractors might at least be ex- 
pected to employ an adequate staff: efficiency thereby would be 
increased : and the State might hope to benefit by an augmentation 
of the revenue which appears to have been one of the aims which 
Gracchus had in mind. 

But such operations required capital : they could only be under- 
taken by companies of wealthy men : and these men, though 
generally not members of the Senate, were people in ability and 
education scarcely inferior to the senators themselves, Already 
the influence of these financiers had been felt in the political 
world: new provinces meant new opportunities for the invest- 
ment of their capital, and the policy of the Senate- in the East, and 
particularly in Macedonia, had not been all that they desired. 
But, though their need for fresh regions to exploit had conflicted 
with the Senate's dislike of fresh provinces to govern, there is no 
evidence to show that senators and financiers were open enemies 
in 123 B.C So far as can be seen, it was the Gracchart fox iudiciaria 
which first set the orders in bitter oppositions and until that mea- 
sure was mooted, if not passed^ they were divided perhaps on 
questions of imperial policy but by no means the deadly foes which, 
in spite of Cicero's endeavours, they remained thereafter till the 
fall of the Republic, Unfortunately we are in the dark about the 
precise date at which the Asiatic system was set up* It may have 
belonged to the second period of Gracchus* career, when he 
reckless of offence to the Senate and anxious to strengthen tfcfe 

C.A.H* IX 


which bound him to his latest friends. But if, us is equally possible, 
it was passed in 123, it need not have been a blow in the Semite's 
face. Admittedly their rights in Asia soon became the most pro- 
fitable privilege of the monied men in Rome, but it was a privilege 
which, before the judiciary reform drove a wedge between the 
orders, the Senate need not necessarily have grudged. It had no 
great quarrel with the financiers; they were useful servants of the 
Senate; and it is hard to see any possible arrangement which 
would have diverted the pickings from the Asiatic tithe into 
senatorial pockets. Moreover, neither the Senate nor Gracchus 
himself had any evidence to show the extent of the abuses to which 
the system would give rise. The method of assessment was, in 
theory, fair: the mode of collection was indicated by existing 
practice, and no obvious alternative was available. And so it re- 
mains possible that in the /ex de pro^indti shitt is to he scon a well- 
intentioned effort to set up a fiscal machine which would ensure 
to Rome her due without involving the formation of a provincial 
civil service. Undoubtedly the best agents of the government 
would have been a force of officials paid and controlled by the 
State; but for this the time was not ripe, and it is idle to hkme 
Gracchus for failing to anticipate the bureaucracy of the IVinei- 


Next come the measures devised to deal with the central sub- 
jects of the programme^ and of these we may begin with the pair 
which have their origin in the work of Tiberius, The fox frumH~ 
taria y which bulks large in the social legislation of Gains, Has been 
discussed already, but this legislation included at least two other 
bills both of them devised, in the spirit of 133 n.c n to find work 
for the workless. One was a lex agraria, of which our knowledge 
is lamentably vague. From the extant law of 1 1 1 .c-, where it w 
mentioned as the complete expression of the Gracchan policy, we 
may infer that> far from merely adding supplementary provinions 
to the Lex Sempronia of Tiberius, it 'covered the whole; subject 
and superseded the earlier enactment. But the need for thin new 
proposal Is not easy to divine* It Is impossible to accept 1 the view 
that a continuation of the land allotments was the main aim of 
Gaius Gracchtis and that his proposals for the enfranchisement 
of the allies were no more than a means of reconciling the Italians 
to the resumption of land now in their occupation. After the 
revolt of Fregellae no sane statesman could fail to see that the 


Italian problem was a pressing issue in its own right, which could 
not be treated as subordinate to the economic difficulties of Rome. 
Nevertheless, if the allied communities accepted the Roman 
civitaS) they would fall under Roman law, and all the ager publicus 
they held would be exposed to the effects of the agrarian legisla- 
tion* Against this contingency the preservation of the commis- 
sioners' powers was doubtless to be desired; but the contingency 
was somewhat remote, and there were perhaps other more im- 
mediate reasons for action. Conjecture must depend to some 
extent on our view of what happened in 129 B.C. (see pp.42 sy$.). If 
Scipio had induced the People to deprive the tresviri of their 
judicial powers and had thereby brought their operations to a 
standstill, it would be tempting to believe that Gaius merely 
carried again his brother's measure in its original form. If, on the 
other hand, Scipio had only prevailed on the Senate to warn the 
commissioners off such ager pubttcus as was in allied possession^ 
Gaius may have re-enacted the law in a form which made it clear 
that no public land was exempt from the authority of the duly 
appointed agents of the People : and this may well be the truth 1 . 
It is clear, however, that the lex agraria was not the measure on 
which Gaius Gracchus chiefly relied to carry on his brother's 
fight against unemployment: indeed we may well believe that in 
123 B.C. he found that the original scheme had been brought so 
near to completion that, of such land as it had set free after the 
limitations of 129 B.C., none but a trifling amount still remained 
for distribution* But, if the expedient of land allotment to indi- 
viduals was exhausted, Gaius had an alternative device; and there 
is a possibility that this device was recognized in the lex agraria 
itself, Cicero 2 records that under a Gracchan law some tres<uiri 9 
whether the land-commissioners or others, received power to 

1 1 lie statement of Siculus Flaccus (Corpus jfgrimensorum^ ed. Thulin, I 1 , 
p. too) that Gaius Gracchus *legem tulit ne quis in Italia amplius quam 
ducentfi iugcra possideret* might be thought to suggest that he tried to find more 
land for allotment by cutting down the normal maximum which possessores of 
long standing were allowed to retain from five hundred iugera to two. It 
would not be surprising if the first impulse of Gaius was to press his brother's 
principles still farther and squeeze even more acres for the poor out of the 
holdings which the rich had been allowed to keep. But, even if the words of 
Flaccus do not in fact refer rather to allotments made In the Gracchan 
colonies (cf. Bruns, Fontes**, 1 1 L 60), the silence of the othcrauthonties makes 
it impossible to believe that the Use agraria of Gaius Gracchus, in its final 
form, contained any provision for a new reduction in the maximum amount 
of ager publkus which sitting poss^ssores might retain, 

a de Itge agr* n 9 12, 31* See J. Carcopino, AutQur de$ 


found colonies a grant which, naturally connects itself with the 

succeeding bill. 

Whatever may have been the purpose of his /M agraria^ it is 
plain that, in his attempt to carry on the work of Tiberius in pro- 
viding for the unemployed, the means on which Gains relied was 
the establishment of colonies. The foundation of colonies to re- 
lieve the pressure of surplus population was a practice sanctioned 
by custom as old as the fifth century, and, though military con- 
siderations had often been involved, the practice had never lost: its 
economic purpose. Now it was to be revived, but with several 
innovations. Colonies in the past had been predominantly agra- 
rian, founded in the richer corners of Italy where settlers could 
make a living from the land. With Gains Gracchus colonies began 
to take a commercial tone, possibly in order to provide for a section 
of the unemployed which had so long been out of touch with 
farming as to be unsuitable for settlement in purely agricultural 
regions* Though sonic of the foundations attributed to him were 
certainly of the older kind, it is impossible to believe that the sites 
of others were not chosen with an eye to the opportunities they 
offered for trade, Neptunia, the only Italian colony which Gains 
is recorded to have organized, and Scolacium, for which he may 
have been responsible as well, were both on that southern coast 
of the peninsula round which ran one of the great trade-routes* 
Here lay the way between eastern and western basins of the Medi- 
terranean, and here were the sites of Greek cities whose decay was 
due more to political causes than to any change in the direction of 
commerce*, S'colacium was under the toe or Italy at one of the 
many points which .had been made attractive in earlier days by its 
convenience for a portage across to the Tyrrhenian Sea; Nepfunk 
stood hard by the city of Tartmtum itself, a city whose departed 
glory it was the mission of the settlers to revive* 

In the selection of such sites there was something new, and 
there was novelty again in the choice of settlers, Undoubtedly the 
bulk of the recruits came from that pauperized section of the 
people whose betterment had been the object of the agrarian 
legislation : but, though many of the colonists must have 
destined to work the land in the old familiar way* there 
to have been some idea of mercantile development, and the hint to 
this effect which may be found in the choice of sites is confirmed 
by an unusual feature in the population. Even to dabble in cam* 
merce a community must have capital at its call, and it was perhaps 
to meet this need that Gracchus leavened his settlements with m 
sprinkling of substantial citizens to such an extent,, indeed, that 


Plutarch 1 can allege the colonists as a whole to have been drawn 
from the most prosperous stratum of society. This is an exaggera- 
tion : but that there is some plausibility in the suggestion may 
perhaps be inferred from the fact that in his later colonial enterprise 
at Carthage Gracchus seems to have enlisted at least a certain 
number of recruits with money enough to finance holdings of two 
hundred iugera^* 

Thus in general the scheme was one devised to carry on the 
work which Tiberius had begun. Its object was still to settle the 
urban unemployed in places where they might earn their own 
living for the future, but it differed from the lex agrarm in one 
respect. Whereas the recipients of land allotments were all in- 
tended to employ themselves in agricultural work, the colonists,, 
at least to some extent, were to develop sites of commercial value. 
But 5 however promising the plan> its immediate results were small, 
Velleius asserts that the colonies at Scolacium and Tarentum were 
actually founded in 123, but the other sites at which the Liber 
Coloniarum places settlements of Gracchan origin find no mention 
in other records of Gains* career. It is possible that they were 
colonized, under the Lex Sempronia indeed, but after its author's 
death or at the instigation of Livius Drxisus. Junonia, the one 
remaining foundation in which we know that Gracchus was in- 
volved, comes later in the story and must be separately discussed. 



With the lex f rumen t&ria passed and the social programme 
launched by the promulgation of the Isx agraria and the lex de 
coloniis deducendis^ Gracchus turned his attention to the problems 

of judicial administration* The great experiment of the Lex Cal- 
purnia, whereby a standing court had been established to try charges 

of extortion brought against Roman officials, suffered from at least 
one obvious defect: only senators could be arraigned, and it was 
senators who gave the verdict. This feature by itself was enough 
to bring the system under suspicion in the minds of other inter- 
ested parties ; but there were also some specific reasons for thinking 
that convictions were not so easy to obtain as strict justice would 
demand* According to Appian 2 *, Gaius Gracchus was able to throw 
at least three cases in the Senate's teeth; in one of them a man had 
been acquitted merely because the court resented the personal in- 
fluence of the prosecutor^ Scipio AemiHarms^ and on ' 
* Gracchi* 30, 2* 8 Bruns, Fmt*& \ x x, L 60. a B*U. <?w x, ; 


occasion not more than two years before Gracchus became tri- 
bune M\ Aquilius had managed to escape, to the general surprise 
and indignation (see below, p. 106). There is evidence enough to 
show that all was not well. The quality of juries was such that an 
improvement was easily within the compass of human ingenuity; 
and still easier to draft was a much-needed law to make judicial 
corruption a criminal offence. The former and more difficult of these 
problems Gracchus sought to solve by a proposal of much mode-ra- 
tion: service on juries should still be confined to members ot the 
Senate, but the Senate was to be enlarged by the addition of per- 
haps six hundred new members drawn from the wealthiest men in 
Rome. If anything was to be clone at all, it is difficult to surest a 
method less offensive to senatorial susceptibilities than this. At the 
same time a measure for the punishment of bribery was passed- ~~ 
a measure which could scarcely be opposed by any but* an avowed 
upholder of corruption, and one whose main interest lies Jn an 
almost accidental feature; the only jurors for whose morals if was 
concerned were senators, presumably because no other jurors 
were known or contemplated (see above, p. 53 Jf^.)- The* Jw ;//' yi/h 
iudicio drcuwoeniatur was enacted forthwith, but the plan to en- 
large the Senate remained a mere proposal: its final fate belongs 
to a later stage (see below, pp. 75 ^5^.). 

In the programme of Gains Gracchus during the first phase of 
his tributiician career there now remains nothing hut the most 
important feature the policy designed at leant to make a shirt in 
dealing with the urgent problem or the allies, Its importance wan 
due partly to the gravity of the situation and partly to the political 
advantage which his opponents were able to gain from (Jmcchus* 
difficulty in winning popular support for a measure which 
bound to take the nature of a liberal concession by Rome* The 
grievances which it was his aim to remove were felt by the whole 
non-Roman population of Italy, and the chosen means for their 
removal was the^ admission of the allies to some or all of the 
privileges belonging to Roman citizens. But, warned by the mis- 
fortunes of Fulvius Fluccus in 125^ Gains was more prudent than 
suddenly to introduce so sweeping a proposal as one for the en- 
franchisement of all Italians alike : he approached the problem by 
stages, and his first step was to broach suggestions to meet the 
demands of a well-defined section of the aggrievecithe Latin 
Name, This is the point at which it is most reasonable to place 
the limited proposal affecting the Latins alone, the existence of 
which is alleged by Plutarch and confirmed both by the phraseo- 
logy of Appian and by the counter-proposal of Livius Drtisus 


(see above, pp. 50 jyy.). About its nature there is little doubt *he 
Latins were to receive the citizenship of Rome. Since Fulvius 
Flaccus was at Gains' right hand, it is possible,, indeed, that the 
grant depended on the consent of the recipients; but it is not to 
be imagined that a firm offer would find many to refuse. 


The career of Gaius Gracchus now approached its crisis. 
Hitherto the oligarchs had been sullenly acquiescent: now they 
came out in open hostility. It can scarcely be supposed that 
their earlier passivity had proclaimed the sincerity of their 
admiration : the cause is rather to be found in the impossibility 
of any other attitude. By his social legislation, by the lex 
militaris and by the measure about provocatio Gracchus had un- 
doubtedly won the support of the Concilium Plebls, nor was there 
anything in his work on the administration of the provinces and 
the courts which would damp the enthusiasm of the masses. But 
the demand for a concession to the Latins was another matter : it 
made a call on the generosity of the voters, and thereby it gave a 
handle to the opposition. By an appeal to their selfishness and 
jealousy the fickle friends of Gracchus might be seduced from their 
allegiance., and this was the alluring task which M, Livius Drusus, 
a tribune of the optimate persuasion, was commissioned to perform. 

The family which, by a lucky adoption, was to achieve endur- 
ing fame through the famous consort of Augustus had risen to 
nobility since the end of the Second Punic War; but its rise, 
though late,was abundantly justified by the ability of its members. 
C. Drusus, who held a high place among the jurists of the 
second century, was brother of the tribune, and of the tribune him- 
self not even the most fanatical admirer of the Gracchi could deny 
that he showed both skill and dignity in the execution of his some- 
what shabby job. At first he seems to have met the outstanding 
features of the Graechan programme with a simple veto a veto 
which may well have given their quietus to the bills for the en- 
largement of the Senate and the enfranchisement of the Latin 
Name, But soon he had recourse to subtler ways. His aim was 
simple to destroy the majority on which Gaius relied in the Con- 
cilium Plebis: his method was effective to give Gaius the lead 
and trump his winners one by one, When Gracchus promulgated 
a proposal, Drusus retorted with a variant; and though he con- 
fined himself strictly to the subject which Gracchus had broached, 
his retort was nicely calculated In every case to make the stronger 


popular appeal. Under the Lex Scmpronia clc coloniis doducendis, 
however large the programme which the law envisaged, ( inicehtis 
had not started more than two foundations and neither of them 
was recruited exclusively from the poorest class of all: Orusus, 
leaving nothing to chance, proposed twelve forthwith, possibly the 
full number of the original Graechan scheme- 1 , and these each 
with three thousand settlers drawn wholly from the lowest of the 
low, Gracchus, following his brother's practice, had exacted a 
rent from the recipients of allotments under the /rw f/#n//v*//: 
Drusus announced that the land should be held rent-free, And 
finally, when Gracchus mooted the enfranchisement of the I ,ufm 
Namej Drusus appealed to the basest instincts of the mob by a 
suggestion that so generous a concession might be evaded if the 
Latins were offered some guarantee against the tyranny of Roman 
magistrates, perhaps even in time of war. The credit for all this was 
given to the Senate, and it was all accompanied by u parade of 
rectitude typical of that moral snobbery which is among the least 
pleasing features in the characters of both JDrusus ami his* son. 
Even if the legal prohibition was first enacted after the Cinteehan 
age^ Gams seems to have fallen foul of the purists in constitution;*! 
practice by himself carrying out the provisions of Ins own laws: 
so it was not for nothing that, when commissioner?; were ap- 
pointed to execute the terms of the .Leges JLiviuc, it was found 
that Drusus himself was not among them* 

The fate of Drusus* proposals is obscure. Thai commissions 
were nominated to carry them into effect in evidence* to show thiit 
they were passed, and indeed there is a famoun incident in the 
Jugurthine War which can scarcely be explained, if flit* vutgnftf 
text of Salhist be right 3 ,, unless the Latins by then enjoyed" the 
protection which Drusus had proposed 4 . If that be so, it in 
plausible to assume that the other measures were enacted too, so 
that from this time onwards the Graechan allottees were relieved 
of the burden of rent* But, whatever may have befallen the 
proposal about colonies. It Is as certain as anything in this 
period can be that the twelve colonies it authorized were never 
founded 5 . Nothing is heard of them again, and it wi his failure, 
once the measure had served its immediate political purpose, to 

1 See J. S, Reid in J.R.S. r f p, 83, a g cc a ^ ovc ^ ^ o lu It 

a Sallust, 3elL J^ug* 69, 4: see below p. 124 n. 2, 

4 For another view, however, see J. S- Reid in J.K.S. i, pp. 77-8 f 

s An inscription of the third century A.D. ((LLL* x 1117), If it i cor- 
rectly read, does indeed suggest that "Livia* appeared in the title of 
linum one of the scycn plac mid in the Liktr C&lonierum to 


carry his colonial schemes to completion which was the strongest 
evidence in the case of those who regarded Drusus as a mere 
demagogue who did not scruple to bribe the masses to his side. 
But, though doubts exist about the reception of his measures in 
detail, their effect is plain. Thanks to the skill with which they had 
been framed and to the opportunity which Gracchus had given 
his opponents when he asked the People for a liberal policy to- 
wards the Latins, the foundation of Gracchus' position his 
majority in the Concilium Plebis was undermined. If his career 
was to escape an abrupt and premature end, the damage must be 
repaired forthwith, and repairs could only be made by the help of 
measures conceived in the spirit of Drusus himself. By the opera- 
tions of his opponents Gracchus was driven to the methods which 
hitherto he had scorned. In the past he had been a reformer he 
might even have been called a statesman who made no appeal 
to the baser instincts of the mob : now he must stoop to use the 
weapons which the Senate had taken up, and he became a party 


Such were the circumstances in which Gracchus embarked on 
the second and less creditable phase of his career. When Livius 
Drusus, presumably after his election though possibly before his 
year of office had actually begun, unfolded his artful scheme, 
Gracchus showed undoubted wisdom in meeting the threat forth- 
with, tie enlisted the aid of a colleague in the tribunate for 1 23/2*" 
-a certain Kubrius to propose a law which should show that, 
whatever criticisms Drusus might have made of the modest 
colonies at Scolacium and Tarentum, it was by no means true to 
say that they marked the beginning and the end of Gracchus' 
intentions. In 1 25 the province of Africa had been devastated by a 
plague of locusts s and this visitation had been followed by an out- 
break of disease which is said to have carried off more than two 
hundred thousand of the inhabitants in the region round Utica 
and Carthage alone 2 * Thus one of the richest tracts In the Roman 
world was derelict, and under these circumstances It was intel- 
ligible that the Lex Rubria should authorize the foundation, of a 
colony hard by the site of Carthage on the edge of the great 

col oi ti'/<cd under a *Lcx Scmpronia* or 'Gracchana*: but it would be rash to 
claim this as evidence that the elder Livius Drusus was in any way responsible 
for Its colonization* For Abellinum see Lib. Col. in Grematici <uet&r*$ $ ed. 

Lachmann, I, pp* 229, 16 $qq. 

* See Note i on p. 891 sy f * Orosius v, xi, %*ff* 


plain which lies round the lowest reaches of the Medjerda (Hag- 
radas). The number of settlers was fixed at something less than 
six thousand and the work of organization was en trusted to 
tresviriy whether these were a special board created by the law or 
merely the Gracchan commission now equipped with powers to 
undertake the planting of colonies (see above, p. 67 sy.). 

Rubrius did not carry his proposal without serious opposition; 
for, though in this very year or the next Q. Mctcllus, consul in 
123, was founding Palma and Pollcntia in Majorca 1 , the strongest 
exception was taken to the extension of Gracchus 1 colonial acti- 
vities beyond the boundaries of Italy. People pointed to the 
warnings of the past and shook their heads over the lessons of 
metropoleis whose daughters had grown greater than themselves 2 . 
Massilia had outdone Phocaea, Syracuse Corinth, Cyxieus and 
Byzantium had both surpassed Miletus and, most ominous of all, 
Carthage had attained a power and prosperity which Tyre had 
never known. So much it was possible' to say outright; appeals to 
the inevitable prejudice of the unemployed against emigration as 
a remedy for their troubles had to be made with more discretion. 
Nevertheless, the bill became law: indeed, among its provisions 
were some of such attractiveness that its rejection was unlikely when 
It was offered^ not as an alternative, but as a supplement to the* 
schemes of Drusus. Land in Africa was abundant, and sonu*> 
though almost certainly not all, of the allotments were to be plots 
of two hundred iugera an area which, though by no means 
without parallel in Roman history or even the largest known t 
was something very different from the miserable doles, less than 
one-sixth of the size now proposed, with which settlers in Italy 
tinder the agrarian law of Tiberius had been perforce content. Nor, 
perhaps, did the generosity of the scheme end here if, by an in- 
novation which finally developed into the no-called tujt //<///Vw#f, in 
spite of the fact that the land was in a province of the Roman 
People, it was removed from the legal category of prwintiak 

and made capable of ownership 0j*/imo iure Qjfirifittwfi * The voters 
might, indeed, make the best or both worlds by accepting the huits 
of Gracchus and of Drusus alike; but what Gracchus had to offer 
them was something of value, and it is easy to understand how* in 
spite of the rising opposition^ the bill of Rubrius became law. 

* Strabo in, 167, a Veil Pat, it, 14, 3. 

s This Is the view taken by Mommscn (Gto. Schr. I, p. 123); for a dif- 
ferent interpretation of the evidence see A. A. F* Rudorff In Ztitsfhr. ftir 
gesch. Rechtswissfnschafti X 1842* pp. u" 



Whatever its value as a means to restore the failing fortunes of 
the Gracchan cause, the Lex Rubria did not stand alone as a 
political expedient. It was accompanied, or soon succeeded 1 ^ by 
another proposal which undoubtedly belongs to the partisan 
period of Gracchus* career, even though it may not have pur- 
posely been designed to act as a political bribe. The final lex 
iudidaria^ judged by its effects on later history, is certainly the 
most important of the Gracchan laws, as it is also the most dif- 
ficult to assign to its proper place in the chronological sequence 
of the legislation. Whether it was passed before or after the ex- 
pedition which Gracchus undertook to found his colony at Car- 
thage there is not enough evidence to show : all that can be said 
with confidence is that it falls in the period after Drusus had de- 
livered his attack. Nor are the details of the measure any easier to 
ascertain 2 . Attention is due first of all to the nature of the court 
which it was intended to affect. The Lex Calpurnia of 149 B.C. had 
established a permanent procedure for dealing with charges of 
extortion brought against officials serving in the provinces, but 
there is no definite proof that this system had been extended to 
other offences by 122 B.C. Even if such proof were forthcoming, 
the peculiar position of the quaestio repetundarum which was no 
mere domestic tribunal but an element in the administrative 
machinery of the Kmpire would make the action of Gracchus 
intelligible if, as the present writer is inclined to think, his famous 
judiciary reform was concerned with this court alone, Such a 
limitation of his outlook will be the less surprising when It is 
remembered that the scandals quoted as the original cause of 
Gracchus* concern with the courts are all scandals connected with 
charges of misgovcrnment in the provinces. From this small but 
important corner of the judicial field Gracchus sought to eradicate 
the worst abuses by an enactment still in part preserved. The Lex 
Acilia dc rebus repctundis^, which took its name from one of his 
lieutenants though Gracchus himself was its real author, not only 
enlarged the juries but boldly changed their constitution by 
excluding members of the Senate and putting in their places men 
of substance drawn from the wealthiest class outside the governing 
oligarchy. Such was the gravest provision of what is perhaps the 
most famous feature in the legislative achievement of Gracchus, 

* See Plutarch, Gracchi* 33, i. 

a A summary of the reasons for the conclusions here adopted will be 
found in Note 2, on pp, 892^. 3 Bruns, jRwwto 7 , 10. 


If the theory here adopted be sound, an immediate answer can 
be given to one of the most controversial questions which have 
been debated since modern study of the Gracchi began -the ques- 
tion whether Gracchus changed the constitution of the civil courts, 
whether senators were debarred from service as the //////.? /W<".v% as 
recuperators^ decemviri and centnnroirL Gracchus made no change 
in the recruitment of these bodies. It must, indeed, he admitted 
that, just as the civil law had influenced the criminal \vheu the 
Lex Calpurnia was passed in 149 B.C., so the Cirncchan innova- 
tions in the criminal indicium ptihlicttw reacted to some extent on 
the civil tribunals. After 122 B.C. indices below senatorial rank are 
found, and it is probable that their choice was to some* extent sug- 
gested by the prevailing' arrangements on the criminal side: but 
there is nothing to show that senators were disqualified tor service 
in civil suits, and it is most improbable that the civil courts were 
ever subjected to sweeping changes in recruitment such as those 
which befell the iudicia />/////></. The earlier proposal of Claius 
Gracchus the proposal for an enlargement of the Senate -would 
indeed have affected the judicial system on both sides: but the 
incidents said to have moved him to action in this mutter wen* 
incidents in the iudicium rep^tundarnm^ and it was with this court 
alone that his final enactment the Lex Aeitia was concerned. 

Some estimate of this memorable law ami its justification must 
now be attempted. As u contribution to the* history of thr Roman 
judicial system its first claim to notice lies in the* deb?' which it 
incurred to Greece, Many of its minor provisions, umi above 
all the large juries which it invoked 1 ., are Hellenic insHtutioiiK 
unknown in the Rome of earlier days, and their adoption hy C Jains 
Gracchus is one among the many signs hy which his obligations 
to Hellas are revealed. More memonible r.till was the cUcrf on 
the political life of Rome, The law stands out among the work* 
of Gaius as one which shows utter disregard for the feelings of 
the Senate: in the manner of faction undisguised it remove* a 
privilege from one section in the State and bestows it on another. 
Yet it is easy to do Gracchus an injustice. This feature of the 
measure was not his own ideal : at first he would have hern content 
to prohibit bribery and to strengthen the Senate, It was a pis /i//<r, 
accepted when Gracchus had been forced to adopt the methods of 
the party politician; and, though these methods cannot be held up 
to admiration, it must be remembered that it wan the Senate and 
JLivius Drusus who had imposed their ust\ When factious oppoai- 

1 See H. K. Hitzfg, Di* Htrkunft d$ Sthwurgtriehts im fttrwf- 

pp. 47 sqq m 


tion was let loose, unless reform was to be finally abandoned, a 
measure must be drafted which, without being necessarily a 
political bribe, would attract sufficient doubtful votes to secure a 
passage through the Concilium Plebis. Such was the Lex Acilia* 
The Senate was implacably opposed to reform indeed, by its 
behaviour in the recent past it had forfeited every claim to considera- 
tion and Gracchus turned to the wealthy men of business who, 
by their own votes and those of their dependents, might well 
enable him to win the day. But to say so much as this is by no 
means to admit that Gracchus played ducks and drakes with the 
interests of the State for the mere gratification of getting his own 
way: these wealthy men to whom he looked were neither fools nor 
scoundrels, but Roman citizens who seem to have responded well 
to the call which Gracchus made. It may be admitted that the 
condemnation of P. Rutilius Rufus in 92 B.C. was a scandal (see 
below, p. 175 sq\ but it must be remembered that Cicero 1 , 
speaking at a time when the juries were still composed of senators 
even if their monopoly was doomed, felt himself justified in boasting 
that in the period of almost half a century between the tribunates 
of Gaius Gracchus and the dictatorship of Sulla the equester ordo had 
filled the j uries without the slightest suspicion of bribery an enthu- 
siastic testimonial, perhaps, but one which would have been absurdly 
maladroit if the equestrian regime had been a welter of corruption. 
There is no need to deny that the Lex Acilia had regrettable 
results ; but these results were not due to any marked unsuitability 
for their task in the men to whom power was given. The evil 
effects flowed from another source,, and one which it was easy to 
overlook. By changing the jurors in the indicium fullicum Gracchus 
made control of the criminal courts a prize of party politics and 
it was a prize which grew the more valuable as the number of the 
courts increased. And not only so; as Pliny records \ it was the 
rivalry thus started which fused the wealthy business men into a 
definite ordo, conscious of its individuality and regularly at logger- 
heads with the Semite, This was a disaster of the first magnitude: 
it meant the formation of parties of the most pernicious type, 
Parties in themselves are no necessary evil : if each stands for an 
ideal of government, no harm is done,, however much their ideals 
may be opposed. But in the last century of the Republic Senate 
and equites had little use for ideals; they struggled not for prin- 
ciples so much as for the advancement of their own interests and 
the detriment of their rivals. There were honourable men, of 
course,, who tried to raise politics to a higher plane : but the tragic 
1 i in f?err. 1 3, 38. * N+H, xxxxtt, 34. 


failure of Cicero's dogged efforts to form a Concordiu Orciinum 
is a measure of the depth to which public life could sink* And 

it was Gaius Gracchus who by his well-meant change in the* re- 
cruitment of juries set men irrevocably on the downward patlu 


There remains one other measure in the final phase of < inuvhus* 
career his last attempt to solve the most urgent problem of the* 
day. It has been said already (p. 5 I sy. above) that in his attempts 
to meet the demands of the Roman allies (irucehus had produced 

no more than a proposal affecting the .Latins alone when Livtus 
Drusus delivered his fatal stroke. If that he so, the hill which 

extended his attentions to the Italians in general must helonjjr to 
the second period of his activity, and this is a conclusion confirmed 
by independent evidence of two kinds, First, C* Fannius- the 
man whom Gracchus had supported for the consulship of i 22 and 
who afterwards went over to the other side left an oration 4 de 
sociis et nomine 1/a.tino contra Grace hum** which it is highly 
probable that he delivered during his year of office: thus it appears 
that the wider proposal was under consideration in 1 22, Secondly, 
Plutarch strongly suggests 2 that agitations in which the* Italians 
were concerned, and which were therefore probably connected 
with a bill for the settlement of their grievances, were the main 
feature of Roman public life at a period just before the trihumcian 
elections in the summer of 122; and to this suggestion may he 
added the numerous hints that, when Gaius finally lost the* favour 
of the masses, a loss first indicated by his failure to secure election 
again as tribune for the year 121, the defection was clue to the un- 
popularity of his liberal attitude to the allies. So- far as it goes, the 
evidence points to a simple version. At the outset Gracchus had 
intended to approach his greatest task, the reorganization of the 
Italian confederacy, by stages; but his original intentions were 
changed perforce when> in taking the first step of all with a proposal 
for the enfranchisement of the latin Name, he was tripped tip by 
Livius Drusus* The immediate result was to make his whole 
position insecure. He could not count on an indefinite, prolonga- 
tion of Ms tribunates* and the prospect of office continued long 
enough to allow the passage of a gradual and protracted programme 
was remote: either the problem of the Italians must be dropped 

1 Cicero, Brutus, 26, 99, * <*racch*> 33, 


or everything must be staked on a single throw. In these circum- 
stances Gracchus chose the bolder course and introduced a com- 
prehensive bill, which on the strength of the words of Cicero 
quoted above is often called a *lex de sociis et nomine Latino/ 

The details of this measure are wrapped in obscurity, and many 
of them provide material for nothing but the most tentative con- 
jecture. There can, indeed, be little doubt that, so far as the Latins 
were concerned, the project of the previous year was revived: the 
Roman civitas was to be offered to the whole Latin Name. But the 
most important clauses of this new bill were those in which it went 
beyond the earlier scheme, and it is with them that speculation 
begins. The words of Velleius 1 would suggest that Gracchus would 
have treated Latins and Italians alike that he would have admitted 
the whole free non-Roman population of Italy to the citizenship of 
Rome, as Fulvius Flaccus had sought to do two years before : and 
Velleius may possibly be right* On the other hand, Appian 2 pre- 
serves a hint that the distinction between Latins and Italians was 
to be maintained : if the Latins were to become Roman citizens, 
the Italians, though their position was somehow to be improved^ 
would still be denied the privilege of full enfranchisement. This 
version finds some support in a piece of evidence which deserves 
notice because it is contemporary: in a speech of which a few 
phrases are quoted by Julius Victor 3 , Fannius, the renegade consul 
of 1 22, appeals to the selfishness of the voters by asking them what 
room will be left for them at games and festivals when they have 
given citizenship to the Latins. If this is the famous speech * de 
sociis et nomine Latino', the mention of Latins as the sole candi- 
dates for admission to the Roman franchise carries the clear 
implication that the Italians were to be content with some smaller 
boon, Such are the considerations which influence those who 
believe that the idea of Gaius Gracchus was to move each section 
of the allies one step up on the political ladder : the Latins were 
to become Roman citizens and the Italians were in future to 
enjoy the ius Latii* Between these possibilities the evidence does 
not allow a decision, though the latter is perhaps slightly the more 
probable; nor would it be of much value to discover the details of 
a measure which was never passed^ when its general intention is 
beyond dispute. 

Whatever its terms may have been, the bill provoked an im- 
mediate crisis. Fannius, the one time friend, now became the open 

1 n, 6, 2. a Sell. Cw. i, 23, 99. 

8 Malcovati, Qr#t. Rom. Prtig* i, p. 247. 


enemy of Gracchus, and to defeat the scheme he had recourse to 
methods of a kind to which IJvius Drustis had never stooped. Not 
only did he seek the favour of the voters by unblushing attempts 
to work upon their greed and jealousy, but, when allies began to 
make for Rome in hopes of doing their humble best to bring- 
home to the sovran People the gravity of the situation which 
Gracchus was trying to relieve, he lent himself to a repetition 
of the device whereby Fulvius Flaecus had been deprived of 
his most active helpers. The Latin vote was negligible^ but I /atins 
and Italians alike could do much to whip up Roman citizens and 
to impress on them the urgency of reform. So the consuls were 
instructed by the Senate to see that, when the bill came before the 
People, no alien without a vote in the Concilium Plelns should be 
allowed within five miles of Rome; and Kannius, despite threats 
and protests from the (Jracchun side,, carried out his instructions 
with gusto. The Senate had, now dropped nil pretence of* in- 
difference and was out for a decisive victory. It had the advantage 
of position, because it was Gracchus who was frying* to commend a 
measure which, however necessary and inevitable, could never have 
aroused enthusiasm among the voters of Rome; and this advantage 
was increased by the actitivies of Fannius, The greatest of all there- 
forms to which Gracchus set his hand came, for the time being\ to 
naught. Whether the bill was vetoed by JLivius Drusus* whether It- 
was actually rejected or even brought to the vote, we cannot suy; 
but somehow it was scotched, and thereby Gracchus con- 

demned to failure in the supreme task of his legislative* career. 

Vague as Is oiar knowledge of everything that concerns the 
second phase of Gracchus* tribunician activities- -the phase which 
produced the Lex Rubria, the Lex A cilia and the hill about the 
allies and the .Latin Name it is nowhere less adequate than In the 
matter of the order in which these measures* were pnifxwtdu 
Nothing can be said with confidence except that during the spring of 
122 Gracchus was away from Rome for seventy days on a visit to 
Africa, making preparations for the colony of Junonia; and 
even for this visit the limits of date are wide 1 * If it is true that 

1 About the nature of the work performed by Gracchus during his vinit 

province as a whole, which had probably been marked out in the 

6 B.C.: see S. Gsell, Histoir* mamm d# PAfri^t ttu 

immediately after f 146 B.C.: see S. Gsell, Histoir* mamm d# PAfri^ 
Nord, vn, pp. X3|f??. and, for another view, Jf, Citrcofrina lit hht* 

162, 1929, p. 92. 


Rubrius was a tribune of 122, his plebiscitum cannot have been 
passed before the end of 123, and the consequent expedition of 
Gracchus cannot have begun before that date. Afterwards, we 
find Gracchus back in time for both tribunician and consular elec- 
tions in the summer of 1 22. Thus his absence may be placed in the 
first six months of that year; but whether it came before or after 
the promulgation of the Lex Acilia and the bill concerning 
Rome's relations with her allies, it is impossible to say. 

With the expedition to Africa, the curtain rose upon the final 
act. It may be surmised that, in pressing on with his colonial plan 
even at the cost of a most inconvenient absence from Rome, the 
policy of Gracchus was to rely for his political security on the 
prestige of a beneficent scheme successfully achieved. It was, 
therefore, one of the first objects of his opponents to see that 
Junonia ended in fiasco. Almost as soon as work on the site 
began, a stream of the most sinister reports burst upon the 
credulous ears of the Roman populace. Winds of supernatural 
force had torn a standard from its bearer's grasp and had blown 
victims from the altars to such a distance that they were found 
outside the pomerium of the city : wolves had torn up the boundary 
stones and carried them, off like mutton-bones in their mouths. 
Clearly life in such surroundings would be hard, even if it were 
not obvious that these portents revealed the displeasure of the gods* 
But, idiotic as the stories were, it was idle for Gracchus and Fulvius 
to deny their truth or challenge their interpretation : sedulous 
repetition lent plausibility to tales however wild, until in the end 
the belief was widely spread that Junonia was an offence to heaven* 
Yet this was not the only line of attack. According to Appian 1 , 
when Gracchus recruited six thousand settlers, he was charged 
with having set aside the Lex Rubria itself by exceeding the 
highest number it allowed. Nor was this his only slip: in the 
following words Appian records that these unhappy colonists 
were collected, 'from all parts of Italy' a phrase which strongly 
suggests that Gracchus had been trying to carry out a clandestine 
enfranchisement of his Italian friends on a small scale. Such were 
the means whereby his opponents contrived to neutralize what- 
ever strength he gained from his honest efforts to make the 
colony of Junonia a success. 

1 Bell* Civ, x, 24, 104, 

C.A.H* IX 




Their efforts were not without reward. By the time of the 
tribunician elections in 122, the tide had definitely turned, and 
the fortunes of the Gracchan ctuisc were on the ebb. When the 
day arrived to choose tribunes for the following year, Ciniccbus 
was again a candidate; but he was a runner greatly changed frtmi 
the form of a year before- Then he could claim support from eitr/,ens 
of every class outside the incorrigible reactionaries: now his hopes 
rested almost wholly on the poorest of the poor. Doubtless he 
could count on the friendship of the rich families from whom his 
new indices were drawn, but their votes and those ot their retainers 
were too few to carry the day unless the urban proletariate could 
be mobilized as well. And this was difficult; for the promise of 
Junonia had done little to restore the enthusiasm which had been 
damped, if not destroyed, by the machinations of I avius Drusus* 
Soj, from the time of his return from Carthage, C Iracchus set him- 
self to cultivate afresh the fickle ailections of the rabble, I le moved 
house from the Palatine to one of the humbler <ju;irters~aj>- 
parently to the Velabriunor its neighbour bood uml, when t he view 
of a gladiatorial show was threatened with sonic obstruction by 
a stand erected for those who could afford to pay he Hrst protested 
and finally had the edifice pulled down on the night before the 
performance began* But neither theatrical appeals nor reasoned 
argument could restore the loyalty of the mob* Whatever the cir- 
cum$tances~~and our only authority suggests that the poll not 
honestly declared when the result was announced C iractthus 
not among the tribunes of 122/1, and consequently on la De- 
cember his tribunician career would at length be cloned* 

That the rejection of Gains was in accord with the prevailing 
sentiment is shewn by the elect inn** for the consulship of t -z t H.C., 
when the chosen pair included a man of the most ominous repute. 
His colleague, indeed* Q. Fsibius Msiximm Albbrogku^ nephew 
of Sciplo Acinilianus, had sown his wild outs early and now In 
the course of an honourable public career; but I*. Opimius } who 
was remembered long after the struggles* of the Grucchan age 
had been forgotten by the celebrated vintage of 121 to which lie 
gave his name, was an unscrupulous ruffian whose one claim to 
notice was the violence of his behaviour towards the* rebels of 
Pregelke in 124 EX* He became consul at a moment when the 
lexde sociis et nomine Latino had brought the problem of the Roman 
allies into the forefront of the political stage; and whether that 


measure had already been rejected or ? as is more probable, had 
still to be submitted to the verdict of the vote, his election showed 
beyond all doubt that the old policy of niggardly exclusiveness was 
to be maintained. 

The affairs with which Gracchus occupied himself in these final 
months of office, when his failure at the elections had proclaimed that 
the public confidence was withdrawn, are left to our imagination. 
There is little doubt that the question of the juries had been settled 
already by the I,ex Acilia, though that measure had apparently 
been passed at a time so near the end of Gracchus' days of power 
that no opportunity was left to enact a consequential amendment 
of the law on judicial corruption (see above, p. 70) : but it is not 
impossible that wranglings over the lex de sociis ef nomine Latino 
still dragged on their weary course after the elections were over 
and that the scheme was not finally killed until after the fate of 
Gracchus himself had been sealed. On this period our authorities 
are dumb, and their silence is unbroken till the death of Gracchus 
is at hand. We are now in the year 121 : Opimius is consul and 
Gracchus himself, no longer tribune, is a mere member of the 
agrarian commission* One of his successors in the tribunate, a 
certain Minucius Rufus, was engaged in an attempt to repeal the 
Lex Rubria 1 , and while this undertaking was in train Gracchus 
foolishly yielded to his more reckless henchmen and formed a body- 
guard of his most loyal supporters. There followed a fracas in which 
one of the consul's criers, a man named Antullius, was killed, 
and the corpse of this unhappy victim immediately became an 
article of propaganda* In the course of a skilful parade this object 
was carried past the door of the Senate House itself, where the 
practised Fathers duly responded to the sight with an outburst of 
fitting indignation* Though the deed had been done in a drunken 
brawl, it was greeted with all the sentiments which calculated 
violence evokes : the guilty hand was Gracchan, and that fact by 
itself was enough to make pointless any reference to the precedent 
of Scipio Nasica and his friends. But, in spite of their emotions, 
the horrified senators did not fail to turn the incident to the ad- 
vantage of their party : indeed, they made it the occasion of a step 
which led to grave results and to a controversy which lasted almost 
as long as the Republic itself. Opimius was finally encouraged to 
take measures for the safety of the State, and thus for the first time 
in Roman history was passed the resolution commonly known as 
the 3enatus conmltum ultimum 1 * 

1 de virit ill. 65, 5- 

a The origin of this expression is Caesar, &>C* i, 5, 3* 


The difficulties to which this measure gavt^risc from the time 
of Gains Gracchus down to the outbreak of the Civil War in 
50 B.C. make discussion of Its nature Jnevltahle. The long- 
standing practice whereby in times of crisis u dictator had^ been 
appointed to act as a temporary autocrat found less and less favour 
with the Senate as the pretensions of that body increased, ami at the 
end of the third century the dictatorship fell upon a period of dis- 
use which was only ended when Sulla revived the oilier in a new 
and modified form. In the second century the Senate preferred to 
meet special dangers by giving special instruction to the ordinary 
magistrates, and this had several times been done: but the situa- 
tion shortly before the death of Gams (Jraednis was in some ways 
peculiar, and its peculiarity led to a modification in the action of 
the Senate. There was now no individual or body of men actually 
In arms against society* ft Is true that AntuIIius had been killed* 
but this was no more than a case of murder; anil, even by forming" 
a bodyguard of his own, (Jraeehus himself had committed no* 
illegality. Yet, though the threat was vague, there was undoubted 
danger of an explosion* and the Senate sought to meet the menace 
in advance by giving the consuls backing which would suffice for 
any possible contingency. So a decree was passed in which the 
magistrates were urged to * defend the State and to see that it took 
no harm/ Such > at least in later days, was the injunction of the ,<*f. */<? 
re fublica defendenda. Both in Its mutter and in its form this resolu- 
tion deserves the closest notice. Defence of the public weal wan no 
special or exceptional function for the magistrates to undertake: 
It was only the most important of their normal duties* Conse- 
quently, the substance of this decree was no more than an exhortation 
to the executive to attend to the business which it was appointed 
to perform. Moreover, in its wording the formula made no pre- 
tence of setting law aside* or even of encouraging the magistrates 
to disregard the legal limitations of their power: it was simply the 
expression of a hope to which any citizen might give vent at any 
time of a hope that the magistrates would do their job. The 
nature of the occasion which prompted this public encouragement 
is obvious: it was not any special unfitness of the magistrates for 
the duties which their office imposed, but the special gravity of & 
crisis with which they seemed likely soon to be confronted. Such 
were the circumstances; and, when they arc considered in con- 
junction with the decree itself, it becomes clear that the 
consultum of the Senate was in essence only an attempt to strengthen 
the resolution of the magistrates In face of a danger which might 
call for action of peculiar vigour and determination, it Implied 

II, xiv] THE 'LAST DECREE' 85 

a promise of senatorial support; but neither in theory nor in fact 
did it add to the legal powers which they already held. It con- 
ferred on them no new authority nor did it even purport to remove 
any of the restrictions which were imposed by statute on the use 
of their imperium. 

The effects of this encouragement on the willing Opimius were 
immediate. His first step was to make good the lack of an effective 
police force in the city by calling the senators and equites to arms, 
and in fairness to the other side it must be added that, according to 
Plutarch, the equites were asked each to provide a couple of armed 
slaves. In face of this formidable threat the counsels of the 
Gracchans were divided: Fulvius Flaccus was in favour of 
meeting force with force, but Gracchus himself seems at first 
to have inclined towards unresisting submission. It was not long, 
however ? before circumstances forced a decision. When Opimius 
summoned both leaders to appear in the Senate House, the 
fatal consequences of compliance were so obvious that Gracchus 
gave way to the more spirited advice of his lieutenant. Flaccus and 
his supporters, with Gracchus diffidently following in their wake, 
seized the Aventine, and from that moment a violent settlement of 
the issue was inevitable. It is true that, even at the eleventh hour, 
some attempt at negotiation was made ; but, in spite of a courageous 
offer by Gracchus himself, neither Flaccus nor the rank and file 
would agree that the leaders should put themselves in the power 
of the Senate, and the consul, on his side, resolutely refused to deal 
with any but the principals of the opposition* So the offers made 
through Flaccus' young son. led to no result, and at length 
Opimius had the satisfaction of finding the stage prepared for his 
final triumph. Amid scenes not unworthy of a field of battle the 
stalwarts of the constitution stormed the stronghold of the 
Aventine. Its garrison was put to flight, and the leaders, soon run 
down, were killed, together with many of their supporters, 
Flaccus and his son were slaughtered by the enemy, and the 
enemy was responsible for the death of Gracchus too, whether 
the hand which took his life was hostile or that of a faithful 
slave ordered to save his master from the consequences of 

Such was the melancholy end of Gains Gracchus, and such was 
the result of the Senate's anxiety for the public defence. If its 
justification is a matter of dispute, the grounds on which it must 
be upheld or attacked are plain. Though the expediency of the 
Senate's decree was questioned by Caesar in the trial of C. Rablrius 
(see below, p* 48 9 s$.j y no one was ever found to deny that the Senate 


was entirely within its legal rights in formally recording its earnest 
hope that the magistrates would not fail to protect the common- 
wealth from n threatening- danger. The vital question concerns the 

effect which this declaration hud on the position of" the magistrates 
concerned, and the answer may he brief. In law the eiFect was nil : 

the resolution did not even purport to alter or suspend the con- 
stitution. Kvcn after its adoption hy the Fathers, to put ;i citizen to 
death without trial and appeal to the People was as much an in- 
fringement of the /eges (fa />;"<vzw<///w/tf as before. 

But in practice the effect was great* Koine, like every other 
State, claimed the right to preserve itself from destruction and, 
if necessary, to use all the means at its disposal t* secure this end. 
When a situation has passed beyond control by the normal legal 

methods, it is essential, in order both to warn the law-breakers of 
what they must expect and to provide the champions of order with 

a reply to charges of illegality which may afterwards be brouj^h^ 
that some responsible person or body of persons should publicly 
declare that tit any moment the necessity for non-legal measures 
may arise and that, when it docs, these measures will forthwith 
be taken. In practice this was the effect of the 'last decree.* By 
exhorting the magistrates to make the safely of the State their 
supreme care the Senate implied its consciousness of a peculiar 
danger, and the consuls were urged sit nil costs to take adccjuate 
precautions to meet it, even if these, precautions involved some 
infringement of the prevailing rules of law* Such was the en* 
courage-meat which Cicero held out to holders of the 
imperium in his famous precept that, to them at least* the 'sahut 
populi* should he the c suprema lex 1 / 

The value of the decree was to be found in the evidence It supplied 
that, in the considered opinion of the Senate, the State hut! been 
faced with a menace of the kind which might call for n temporary 
neglect of the procedure normally imposed by law* In any sub- 
sequent prosecution of the magistrates for illegal action their proper 
defence that they acted in circumstances! under which the over- 
riding obligation to maintain the security of the State made it 
impossible to observe the formalities of arrest and frht~*foyrtil the 
strongest support in the Senate's declaration that such circum* 
stances were clearly to be foreseen. Thus to say that the behaviour 
of Oplmius was contrary to the provisions of the law is irrelevant: 
to the question of his justification* The only issues which could 
reasonably be raised were^ first 3 whether the crisis in of the 
gravity which the Senate feared and the consul claimed; secondly, 

1 dt ligibm* HI, 3, 8, 


if it was of such a nature, whether the consul used no more than the 
minimum degree of non-legal action required to bring the situation 
back under control by ordinary means; and> thirdly, whether the 
consul's action was., in fact, directed to preserve the safety of the 
State, If all these questions could be answered with an affirmative, 
no honest jury of loyal citizens could deny that his behaviour was 
justified, whatever laws he had for the time being ignored 1 . 

So much for the position of the executive: it may be well to add 
a word about the rights of the people whose behaviour had caused 
the commotion. On certain occasions in later Republican history 
the Senate, at the time of passing its 'ultimate decree,' put the 
identity of those from whom danger was foreseen beyond all 
doubt by declaring them individually hostes* This elaboration in 
the procedure deserves notice both because it calls attention to the 
attitude of the law towards such obstinate disturbers of the public 
peace and also because its effect has often been misunderstood. 
Every Roman civis was entitled, if suspected of crime, to be 
formally charged and duly tried in accordance with the prevailing* 
rules for the administration of criminal^ justice^ and one of these 
rules was that no capital sentence should be executed without the 
consent of the Roman People. A hostis^ on the other hand, was an 
active enemy of the State who might be killed at sight by any 
citizen with complete impunity 5 so far at least as the law of Rome 
was concerned* Now the Senate, for all its pretensions, never 
made the monstrous claim that it could turn a ci*ois into a hosti$ y 
that it could deprive a Roman citizen, merely because he was sus- 
pected of crimehowever strong the suspicion, of the right to 
legal trial which was inherent in his citizenship. What the Senate 
could do was to point its finger at a man and observe that by 
his own behaviour he had made himself a hosti$* A malefactor 
whose arrest the magistrates desired to effect, if he resisted appre- 
hension by forming a bodyguard of such dimensions as to be in 
effect an army, was setting the State at defiance in precisely the 
same way as another State might do at a time of international 
crisis. Towards both the proper attitude was a declaration of war, 
but between the two cases there was one slight difference. Whereas 
Rome might declare war on another power in spite of all that 
power's efforts to prevent it, she could not declare war on a section 

1 A most lucid treatment of these and cognate questions is to be found in 
the Report of the Committee appoint &d to inquire into the Circumstances con~* 
ntcted with the Disturbances at Featherstong on the Jth of September J#pJa 
pp. 9 sqy* (C- 7^34* Stationery Office; 1893)* The chairman of the 

committee was Lord Bowcru 


of her own citizens until they had in fact, though not necessarily 
in word, declared war on her. Thus, when citizens were proclaimed 
AosteSythe proclamation was purely declaratory; it merely recog- 
nized the effects of their own action. In fact, the only person 
who could turn a citizen into a hostis was that citizen himself. And 
so 5 when in later practice the Senate backed up its 'ultimate 
decree' by an announcement that certain persons were enemies, 
the one result of this addition was to enunciate an already existing 
fact in order to indicate more definitely where the magistrates 
should look for the danger against which the s.c. //<* re pnbJica 
defendenda gave them special encouragement to provide, 

Though there is no evidence to show that on this occasion such 
a declaration was made, by seizing the Aventine in force ami by 
openly flouting the orders of a consul the ( * medians hail put them- 
selves in a posture of hostility to the State. They had appealed to 
the judgment offeree, and there can be no shadow of doubt that 
the government was justified in using' force to secure the verdict 
for itself. So much can be said in favour of the court which in i 20 
acquitted Opimius of all criminality in the methods he hail em- 
ployed to suppress the incipient revolt on the Aventine (see helow, 
P* 93) But the court went further than to approve the use of 
violent and non-legal methods to deal with an insurrection which 
could be controlled by no other means. Of the three thousand 
victims for whose death the operations of Opimius were re- 
sponsible by no means all had been killed in the assault on the 
Aventine or in the subsequent pursuit. Some, at least, and ac- 
cording to Appian a very considerable number, had been arrested 
and put to death by the consul without any semblance* of* trial after 
the back of the revolt had been broken at a time when u state of 
acute emergency could no longer be said to exist. The owe of 
these unfortunates was wholly different from that of the men who 
had fallen in the heat of battle during the storming off he ( inteehan 
position and its immediate sequel; they had been executed out 
of hand by the consul* in defiance of the law, at a time when there 
was no valid reason whatever for denying them the trial ami the 
exercise of pro^ocatio against a capital sentence to which every 
citizen was entitled* For such action Opimius might justly have 
been condemned: but in fact he was acquitted, and thereby the 
Senate gained a most valuable victory. In his kx m quh iniumi 
popufi JFiL capita damnetur Gains Gracchua had deprived it of a 
powerful^ weapon by preventing the creation of special senatorial 
courts with inappellable jurisdiction to take vengeance on par- 
ticular bodies of people who had incurred its displeasure* This 


disability the Senate now repaired by using the unsupported im~ 
perium of a consul to authorize executions of the kind which 
hitherto had only been carried out after sentence by one of those 
courts at which the law of Gracchus had been aimed. The device 
was indefensible. Once order had been restored, there was no justi- 
fication whatever for execution in defiance of the laws onprovocatio, 
But in spite of this, after a trial in which the arguments of the 
prosecution seem to have been developed with great elaboration, 
Opimius secured his acquittal, and thereby the Senate won a 
notable success. If the action of Opimius became a precedent, 
one of the most salutary of the Gracchan laws would have been 
circumvented, and for the senatorial courts which it had been 
designed to check would be substituted a still less desirable form 
of jurisdiction the consular imperium freed from every limitation. 


The significance of the Gracchi in Roman history has been 
described in the most divergent terms. Champions of Socialism 
in its extremest forms have found in them the heralds of doctrines 
which even now are thought advanced, and by others they 
have been dismissed as demagogues of the most commonplace type, 
not even distinguished from the rest of their kind by any serious 
contribution to the political ideas of the age in which they lived. 
Both estimates are wide of the mark. The Gracchi were children 
of their time, and it was with the special problems of Rome in the 
latter half of the second century B.C. that they were concerned. The 
business of Tiberius was to relieve the widespread unemployment 
of the urban population, and the plan he adopted to achieve this 
end was a scheme for the partial redistribution of the public land 
a scheme so sane in its conception and so successful in its results 
that it is futile to charge its author either with reckless vote- 
catching or with the Utopian aspirations of unpractical ignorance, 
This work it was one of the tasks of Gaius to continue, though in his 
continuation a slight change of method appears. Probably because 
most of the scattered land, only suitable for distribution among 
individual settlers, had already been assigned, Gaius had recourse 
to the foundation of colonies, some at least of which were intended 
to provide opportunities for commercial employment. But the 
lex agraria of Tiberius Gracchus had provoked open expression of 
a grievance which for long had riddled the peoples of Italy with 
discontent: the time had come when are-organization of the Roman 
confederacy could no longer with safety be delayed. This was the 


final goal towards which Gains set his course, and on its attainment 
he staked not only his political future but his life. If he failed, 
his failure was inevitable: all the appeals and arguments of one 
young- man could never break down the incorrigible selfishness of 
the Roman 'democracy/ from which nothing less than the menace 
of the Social War was enough to wring concessions. 

For the rest, his achievements consist of minor changes in the 
administrative system; and they were changes which were salutary 
in themselves and free from the taint of political corruption. Kvon 
in the final phase of his career, when Gains had undoubtedly ceased 
to respect the feelings of his oligarchical opponents^ it is impossible 
to find a measure which can be said with assurance to have been 
framed as nothing but a, bribe to some section of the people. 
It is not to be denied that by several of his proposals he must 
have gained friends for himself, as the author of any true reform 
is bound to do: but even the transference of the* qittiestw re petit nd- 
aruni to the wealthiest class outside the senatorial ring was an 
act which not only may well have seemed expedient at the time. 
irut also was by no means condemned by its effect. Of (*aius 
Gracchus it may be said that, however much sonic of his rt % form 
may have served to strengthen his own position, he never helped 
himself by u measure which did not help the State us well. And 
the figures in Roman history to wham u higher tribute can 
honestly be paid are few indeed. 

But the programmes of the Gracchi were of far loss importance 
than the issues which they raised unwittingly, Tiberius had called 
attention to the problem of the unemployed; Cjaius had put the 
gravity of the Italian question beyond dispute. But more* serious 
even than these was the challenge which they Hung down to the 
whole practice of the constitution and the prevailing domination 
of the Senate. That they were prepared to approach the Concilium 
Plebis with proposals for legislation which hud not received gcna* 
tonal approval was a trifling breach of custom, and not without 
parallel. If the Senate could not stop the promulgation of a bill, it 
had every reason to believe that a tribune would easily be foumi to 
use his veto agtiirat it. The first danger came with the deposition 
of Qctavius, If tribunes distasteful to the People's passing mood 
were to be deprived of office^ the way to demagogic control wa^ 
barred by nothing but the Senate's claim to proboulcutic powern 
a claim which had no statutory sanction and which had been 
regularly flouted in the Gracchan ageand the flimsy obstacle of 
obKuntiatio. Barriers such as these were useless. If the right to 
unseat an obstructive tribune were admitted, the senatorial 


tion was lost. Tiberius Gracchus, in his dealings with Octavius, 
took a long step towards constitutional revolution. Still more 
drastic was the doctrine-- adumbrated by Tiberius and made 
effective by Gaius- that a tribune should be capable of immediate 
re-election, and for an indefinite number of years. The supremacy 
of the first citizen, unhampered by the veto, was to be limited 
by nothing but the endurance of popular support; and, as can be 
seen from Tiberius' handling of the Asiatic bequest, no branch of 
government was to be immune from direct interference by the 
People and their chosen leader. 

Such were the gravest implications of these famous tribunates. 
It was not the professed objects of the Gracchan programmes 
which mattered most, nor was it the violence which marked their 
authors' ends. The true cause for justifiable alarm lay in the 
tendency towards democracy of the most reckless type. The 
insignificant and unworthy fraction of the Roman People which 
formed the Concilium Plebis on all but exceptional occasions 
was to be freed of every trammel in the exercise of its legislative 
powers. From day to day, as bills were introduced, nothing 
was to prevent the enactment of those proposals which appealed 
most strongly to the taste of the urban mob* That way disaster 
clearly lay. Not even the most zealous democrat could seriously 
maintain that the plebs urbana was well equipped for the task of 
governing an empire, nor was it probable that the proletariate of 
Rome would for ever refrain from a selfish use of its authority 
to the detriment of the interests of the Populus Romanus as a 

Yet it is easy to misjudge the Gracchi. The issue, raised moat 
acutely by the problem of Appian's value as an authority for the 
career of the elder brother and associated in recent times par- 
ticularly with the names of Schwartz 1 and von Pohlmann 2 , 
between those who would call them revolutionaries and those who 
regard them as mere reformers cannot be decided outright, A dis- 
tinction must be drawn between the content of the programmes 
and the implications of the methods adopted to secure their passage 
into law. The legislative proposals contained nothing to which 
constitutional objection could be raised, and on this score their 
authors could claim to be reformers of the most legitimate type. 
But on the other hand it cannot be denied that some of the ex- 
pedients employed in carrying the reforms could not be reconciled 

* Gtitt. Gel. jtn%*. 1896, pp. 792^. 

In Sit%ungsberichfg der phtlos^phuoL u hist. Kla$$e d. KgL Bayer, l Ak* $*-* 

ten* 1907^ pp* 44.3 sy<j. 


with the existing constitution. They implied the destruction of that 
equilibrium between the magistrates, the Semite and the People 
to which Polybius rightly ascribed much of Rome's past success, 
and the development in its place of an unfettered democracy 
wherein effective sovranty would lie with that section of the 
citizen body which chanced to live at Rome* But, though their 
behaviour reveals a familiarity with the practices of ( Jreece which 
is intelligible in pupils of Blossius und Diophanes^ there is no 
reason to believe that either of the brothers set out front the be- 
ginning to create a democracy of the Hellenic type. So tar as can 
be seen, if no attempt, like that of ML Octavius, had heen made to 
block the /ex agraria by veto, Tiberius would have left the con- 
stitution unimpaired. He was honestly convinced of the* value of 
his agrarian scheme; and, if so excellent a measure had been 
accepted without protest, the weapon of obstruction would have 
been left intact for use against less worthy proposals. But when 
resistance came, Tiberius, convinced of the justice of his e;uiso 
and declining to see his programme burked, secured its passage by 
recourse to means which boded ill. The dormant sovranty of the 
People was stirred to a new and sinister activity. There was, 
indeed, no cause for alarm so long as the popular hern, whose 
plans it would be the business of the assembly to enact^ was a man 
with the honesty and patriotism of a Gracchus. But the peril of a 
democracy swayed by its first citizen is the shortness of the step 
from Pericles to Clcophon; and the error of the Gracchi was their 
failure to reflect that not all tribunes could boast a rectitude awl 
public spirit such as theirs. Undoubtedly the system which they 
adumbrated was one which differed widely from tht* existing 
practice^ and to that extent the C if race hi may justly be branded an 
revolutionary* But constitutional change found no place in their 
programmes as originally conceived* The measures wherein it was 
latent were hurriedly framed at a later stage to counter the irra- 
tional opposition of the conservatives, and the worst that can be 
said of the ill-considered replies is that their authors, in the en- 
thusiasm of youth for a noble cause, did not pause adequately to 
consider the dangers which the State might run in days when 
there were tribunes less honest than themselves. 

Whatever judgment may be passed on the characters and 
motives of the Gracchi^ the wider significance of their careers, **s 
a milestone in the course of Roman history, Is clear, An elaborate 
attempt to remove some crying abuses of the day had been thwarted 
by the forces of conservatism* The mainspring of the opposition 
was the Senate, and to the Senate a challenge had been flung down. 


The Assemblies had been used by both sides, and they were to 
remain pawns in the struggle henceforward* Issue had been 
joined about the future of the Roman constitution, and the revo- 
lutionary age had begun. When it ended with the principate of 
Augustus the tribunate and the Assemblies alike had sunk into 
insignificance, and the Senate itself only survived because its 
independence was henceforward to be curbed by monarchical 


The ten years which followed the death of Gaius Gracchus 
were a period of transition. First, by a judicious exploitation 
of its success, the Senate was returning to its old position of 
supremacy in the constitution; and secondly, though Roman 
history had not yet entered on the military phase which occupied 
the last decade of the century, domestic issues were receding into 
the background and there appears the man who, after the struggles 
with Jugurtha and with the Germanic invaders, was to become the 
first in that line of military principes which led in direct succession 
to Augustus. 

At the outset there were some personal questions to be answered. 
The Gracchans, though the death of Gaius had been compassed 
with far more respect for the appearance of legality than that of 
his brother twelve years before, were by no means reconciled to 
the new weapon adopted by the Senate the s.c. d$ re -public de- 
fendenda and they determined to put to the test of a public trial 
the far-reaching claims which the action of the consul had 
implied* Accordingly Opimius was accused, and before long 
the People found themselves listening to what must have been 
one of the most acute and entertaining debates on the nature 
of law which ever flattered a Roman court 1 . The result is as sur- 
prising to us as it must have been gratifying to the Senate : Opimius 
was acquitted, and thereby the oligarchy won a signal victory, the 
significance of which has been discussed above (p, 89)* Nor was 
this all. In the same year, 120 B.C., another tribune L. Cal- 
purnius Bestia, later one of the villains of the Jugurthine War 
induced the People to go back not only on Gaius Gracchus but 
on itself by recalling P. Popillius Laenas, who had been the first 
victim of the Gracchan law against criminal courts established by 
the Senate (see above, p* 56 jy,). 

Yet the conservative triumph was not complete : the most con- 
troversial of all the Gracchan laws the Lex Acilia still remained 
1 Cicero, de orat* n, 30, 132$ part* or at. 30^ 


intact. Nor was there any luck of active opposition, it w:ts ;i mere 
symptom that Q. Soievolu, the son-in-law of LucHus and known 
to posterity as the Augur, was prosecuted, probably in r 19 -c\, 
on a charge of extortion in Asia, which he had lately governed: 
but more "importance belongs to the attack on C. Carbu. Car ho, 
the ally of Gains Gracchus and still a member of the agrarian 
commission, had deserted the friends of his youth in a way which 
could not command admiration. By whatever nienns he was 
elected^ he secured the consulship for i 20 n,i\ and marked his 
tenure of the office by a defence of Opimius so whole-hearted that 
he did not hesitate to assert that. Gains Gracchus had been justly 
killed 1 * In the following year Carbo was accused, on u charge. 
which cannot now be ascertained,, by it young man just embarking 
on an oratorical career of a distinction unsurpassed unit! fhr a^xt 
of Hortensius and Cicero, This was J ,. Cnissus^ who in these early 
days of his political life vuis far from bein^ 1 the' *<taunch champion 
of the Senate which he became in his later years % and his attack 
was crowned with a success so great as to cause ifs anchor ^oinc 
remorse when Curbo, without watting for the verdict, ended his 
life by eating 1 Spanish Hies. 

The death ot Carbo called for little lamentation in any quarter, 
and such satisfaction as it gave the (iraeehan party was at best the* 
pleasure of a small revenge on one who had deserted a sinking* 
ship* But though men could not appreciate its significance at: the 
time, the history of the year contained a promise of higher hope 
for the fortunes of the cause which the < Jraechi hail at: heart, It SHW 
the first political activity of one who, for nil his faults, was to do 
much towards raising the efficiency of the Roman governments 
Gains Manus, whose home was an obscure village in the territory 
of Arpinum, had served with distinction under SeipJo AcnuHanus 
in Spain; but nothing i& known of his public career at Rmtte until 
in 119 luc* he held the tribunate. After the death of Ktiptc^ Marius 
found his most influential support in the great family of fhe 
Mctelli, who at this period dominated the politico! fttagtt in 
Rome, One of them i,* Mctellus, afterwards Delmutis.-uw 
was consul In this same year: and thin fact gave the tribune Hit 
opportunity to^show the stuff of which he was intuit*. He had 
Introduced a bill designed to curry on the good work begun by 
the ballot-laws and still further to reduce the opportunities for 
exercising pressure on the voter*, The scope of 4 the meHsure is 

1 Cicero, de or*t. xi, 25, 106. 

a Thi is shown by his attitude on the question of Narbt> (see below, 
p. 112 sy.). 


obscure, but it was so much resented by the nobility that L. Cotta 3 
the colleague of Metellus in the consulship^ induced the Senate 
to summon Marius and demand an explanation of his conduct 
in promulgating a bill for which the previous approval of the 
Fathers seems not to have been asked. Marius came : there was 
an angry debate; and,, when Metellus supported Cotta, Marius is 
said to have ordered Metellus' arrest. Thereupon the opposition 
collapsed; the bill was passed; and the People knew that it had at 
least one champion who was not afraid to face the Senate. Yet 
Marius was not an unmitigated demagogue : on another occasion 
during his tribunate he showed his ability to defy the clamour of 
the mob. The kx frumentaria of Gaius Gracchus was repealed at 
the instance of a certain M. Octavius 1 not to be confused with 
the tribune of 133 B.C. who proposed in its place an alternative 
less burdensome to the public finances 2 . When this happened we 
cannot say, and it is a mere possibility that 119 B.C. is the date. 
But, however that may be ? the question of corn-distributions be- 
came an issue while Marius was tribune, and he did not hesitate 
to resist, with success 3 a measure which appears to have passed the 
limits of expediency in its popular appeal 3 . 

After failing to secure election as aedilc> Marius scraped home 
last of the successful candidates for the practorships of 1 15 BC., 
and this office he managed to retain in spite of a prosecution for 
bribery. But his praetorship was not distinguished, and the year 
owes its interest rather to the consuls and the censors. One of the 
former was M, Aemilius Scaurus^ made Princeps Senatus before his 
consulship was over a man whose career demands notice for its 
similarity to that of Marius and also for its difference therefrom, 
Though Scaurus may have been descended from a family of some 
repute, he and Marius were alike in rising from humble begin- 
nings to the highest offices of State. Both retained much of the 
brusque ruggedness which marked the class from which they had 
emerged, and neither was free from that greed for gain which the 
opportunities of office aroused in almost every Roman, and most 
of all in those to whom wealth was strange. But between these two 
there was one difference of the greatest moment. Scaurus, like 
Cicero^ owed his highest advancement to the favour of the Senate* 
Though his policy was on some occasions his own, he married a 
daughter of Metellus Delmaticus a lady who was subsequently 
wife of the dictator Sulla -and became in time the foremost 
spokesman of the senatorial cause * euius nutu prope terrarura 

1 Cicero, Brutus, 62, 222, a Cicero, dt off. n, 2r s 72, 

3 Plutarch, Mariu$> 4, 4. 


orbis regebatur 1 ' thereby -acquiring a favourable repute in the 
bulk of the historical tradition. Murius rose to power in the 
Senate's despite, and the enormous influence which he won was 
used against that body* Marius, therefore, had a hostile press; 
and, were it not for Sallust, our knowledge of his achievement 
would leave much to seek. Thanks to the monograph on the 
Jugurthine War, the significance of his career is plain ; the HOVUS 
homo who made his way on his merits, without help from the 
nobility and despite their opposition,, was the first of the pvpufares 
(see below, pp, 137 $$$*) 

When Marius became consul another step had been taken 
towards the Principate; but the consulship of Scaur us was a more 
humdrum affair. Its most notable feature was the passing of a 
Lex Aemilia dealing with the distribution of the freedmen through 
the tribes. The problem was one which raised constitutional 
issues of the first importance (sec above, p. H ^,), but the detailed 
considerations which determined the political opinion of the day 
are not easy to ascertain. The votes of the freed men were of use, 
if to anyone, to their patrons; and, in other days, it would have, 
been in the interest of the senatorial class to give the irecdman 
vote the greatest influence which its numbers justified* Now, how- 
ever, the position had been altered by the advent of the ballot: it 
was no longer possible for a patron to count on the votes of his 
freedmen as his own, and in less than thirty years the distribution 
of the freedmen throughout the whole body of the thirty-five 
tribes was to become a plank in the platform of the Senate's 
enemies (see below,, p. 203 s$.}. The freedmen, to whom at first 
the four urban tribes had been open, and who had later crept, on 
strict conditions, into the rustic tribes as well, had been confined, 
with the exception of those who were passing rich, to the single 
urban trilws JkLsquilina during the censorship of TL Semprnmus 
Gracchus in 169 B.C. If that arrangement had hitherto been 
observed* Scaurus must have proposed something of a more 
liberal nature: but if, as is by no means unlikely, the obvious 
unfairness of the system had led to its being tacitly ignored* 
Scaurus may be assumed to have enacted rules which, while more 
reasonable than to confine freedmen to one tribe out of thirty-five, 
would serve nevertheless to protect the tribus ru$tica<* from con- 
tamination by a class which, was clearly regarded with distrust* 
In that case, the Senate wan still looking to the country-tribe** 
for help against the city-following of any new Gracchus who might 
arise. Scaurus also passed a law against the luxuries of the tablc y 
1 Cicero, pro Jfontalo^ J 9 24* 


and in his campaign on behalf of public morals he had the assist- 
ance of the censors. Not only were thirty-two senators removed 
from the Curia, but the stage was purged and its performances 
reduced to a jejune simplicity scarcely to be commended by the 
legitimate claim that its art was now wholly Italian. 

Yet, in spite of these precautions, all was not well. In the 
autumn of 1 14 B.C. Rome was stirred to its depths by rumours of 
licence among the Vestal Virgins : suspicion fell upon three, but 
when the Pontifex Maximus and his colleagues held an investiga- 
tion only one was condemned* With the new year there followed an 
assertion of popular authority significant enough even though the 
occasion was not purely political. In indignation at the supposed 
connivance of the pontifices^ on the proposal of S. Peducaeus, a 
tribune, the People established a court of its own to try the case 
afresh, and in charge of it was put a man famous for his rigorous ad- 
ministration of justice. This terror to evil-doers whose court was 
called the *scopulus reorum* was L. Cassius Longinus, famous 
for his inevitable question Cm bono?^ and he brought to the investi- 
gation methods which must have satisfied the most raging thirst 
for blood. Indeed it was agreed in later days that his conduct was 
less than judicial. But the masses were in no mood for mercy, and 
for the moment there was satisfaction at the punishment of the 
two women formerly acquitted, together with some others: the 
men involved were also attacked, but in their case no conviction is 
recorded. And this was not all* Reference to authority, probably 
of Etruscan origin, was found to indicate the propriety of making 
human sacrifice. Accordingly, two Greeks and two Gauls were 
slaughtered in the Forum Boarium*, and Rome was dishonoured 
by descent to a practice wholly foreign which, to the credit of the 
Romans, was formally repudiated in 97 B.C, Such were the frenzied 
efforts of a superstitious populace to placate the gods. Nevertheless 
two years later, in 1 1 1 B.C., for three days the sky rained milk 
and a large part of the city was destroyed in a disastrous confla- 
gration 2 . 



In the period before the Jugurthine and Teutonic wars came 
to occupy all the energies of Rome only otic feature remains 
the series of measures whereby the status of the ager fublicm^ left 

in great obscurity by the Gracchi, was reduced to order* The 

1 Plutarch* S^aest* Rom, 83. * Obscquens 39 99 ] 

C.AH* IX ' 7 


policy pursued in this matter lias been the subject of much dis- 
cussion. Some have seen in it an oligarchical attempt to undo the 
Gracchan achievement: others regard it as an honest effort to 
remove existing difficulties without disturbing the general situa- 
tion. It has been observed above that the years following 121 B,C. 
were not marked by any overwhelming reaction : the Senate was 
again in the ascendant, but its enemies were by no means crushed. 

j /* 1 1 . i*",t * t t U 

A ray - 
in part 

Carbo, C. Sulpicius Galba and L, Culpurnius Bestia. According 
to the conjecture of Cichorius a , a conjecture which in ingenious and 
attractive though admittedly beyond the reach of proof, this docu- 
ment preserves the composition of the agrarian commission -after 
the deaths of Gains Gracchus and M. Kulvhis Klaeeus, whom 
Galba and Bestia thus succeeded. If this interpretation were 
correct, it would be relevant to recall that (lalba was son-in-law 
of a previous commissioner -P. Crassus Muciaruus who was him- 
self the father of Gnius Gracchus* wife so that one of the two 
vacant places would have been kept within the family as before, 
But, on the other hand, the attitude of Cnrho had completely 
changed at latest by 120 B.C.: he was by then the Senate's man, 
Bestia had been foremost in securing the recall of Popillius 1 .acnas^ 
and ? for the rest ? both Galba and Bestia were among the senatorial 
victims of the Mamilian Commission in 109 .<, Thus it appears 
that, if we know anything at all about the land-board after I 2 i .C M 
our information suggests that it had n bias in favour of the con- 
servative point of view> though the presence of Galba may betoken 
a desire to conciliate the other side. 

The attack on the Gnicchun legislation hutl begun even before 
the death of Gains: Minucius Rufus had already sought to repeal 
the Lex Rubria (see above, p. 83^, and in this he wus uititnutcly 
successful. But the government did not abuse its return to power: 
for ? though Junonia ceased to exist us a colony under that name* 
the settlers on the spot were allowed to retain their allotments, 
apparently on the same terms as the allottees in Italy 3 > and It is 
also possible that Ncptunia and Minerviawere spared. For what 
follows Appian is our fundamental authority, and in the next ten 

1 Dessau 28, 3 Romische StwtiM, pp. I i j jryy. 

* If the grants had originally been capable of ownership p$im@ h*r* 
>yiritium> they became agtr privates vectigft/isyur> cither now or soon aftcr- 
wards. C K. Bcaudouin in JV<m rev* hist, d 'droit frunfttis tt 
Anncc xvn, 1893, 


years or so he records three laws dealing with the ager 
First, perhaps still in 121 B.C., the Gracchan grants were made 
alienable. The clause of the Lex Sempronia now repealed has been 
discussed above (p. 24). It may well have been a temporary ex- 
pedient, and it would be rash to assert that even its author would 
have resisted its withdrawal at this late date, when its purpose had 
probably been served. Still more dangerous is the assumption 
that the repeal was meant to open the way for a return of the 
latifundia. Appian's language is here so inaccurate that, as often, 
he is convicted of confusion, and his interpretation of the measure 
cannot be accepted as it stands. It is enough to reflect that, if, as 
we know to have been the case, the Gracchan plots still remained 
ager publicus^ they would be debarred from incorporation in large 
estates unless the limit imposed by Tiberius Gracchus on the size 
of possessions had been rescinded: no such derogatio of the Lex 
Sempronia is recorded, and the evidence of the extant lex agraria 
forbids its assumption. Under these circumstances the law of 
121 B*C. is best regarded as the non-contentious cancellation of a 
clause, rightly enough inserted at the outset by Tiberius Gracchus, 
which, if retained, would have resulted in the absurdity of tying 
permanently to their allotments those small-holders who had 
failed to pay their way. 

There follow the two measures whereby the existing situation 
was fixed and stabilized. First, probably in 119 B.C., the minds 
of those who still feared for the security of their tenure were set 
at rest by the abolition of the land-board : by now its work had 
been done (sec above, p. 44), and there was no reason to protract 
the existence of a body whose mere presence was thought by some 
to be a threat. At the same time the concession, originally offered 
to the large possessors by Tiberius Gracchus but withdrawn before 
the passage of his bill, was restored* They were to be guaranteed 
the perpetual tenancy of such tfgw publicm as they had been 
allowed to retain, though in return for this assurance they were 
henceforward to pay the State that rent which had been due in the 
past until it was remitted by Tiberius 2 . The revenue thus gained 
was to be expended on sonic object of popular appeal, conceivably 
to make less unattractive than it would otherwise have been that 
modification of the lex frument&ria which was in the air at this time 
(nee above, p. 95). After this there must be mentioned, an enact- 

1 BelL 6V7/. i 27, 

a It Is not easy to believe that the recipients of the Gracchan allotments, 
who had probably been exempted from the payment of rent by Llvius Drusus 
(see above, p. 72), were now recjuired to pay again, 



ment, apparently passed in i ia B.C. when M* Livius Drusus was 
one of the consuls, to confer sonic benefit on .Latin and Italian 
holders of public land; but nothing is known of its scope- 1 . 

The settlement was completed by the measure preserved in 
part on the back of the bronze sheet whose other side hears the 
text of the Lex Acilku This act 3 , which may be dated with pro- 
bability to 1 1 1 B.C.J is a complicated attempt to have done with 
disputes and to banish uncertainty,, but its main intentions may be 
briefly stated 3 , * First, all ager-publicus in Italy which had been dealt 
with by the Gracchan commissioners, whether they had assigned 
it in small lots either to isolated applicants or to prospective mem- 
bers of a colonial foundation,, or had left it in the hands of lonjjf- 
standing possessores^ was, so long as the limits of the I /ex Sempronia 
were observed, to become the private property of its occupants* 
The rent imposed by the previous law was in these case's conse- 
quently abolished. Secondly, colonize and municipiti* whether 
Roman or Latin, were to be secured in their tenancy of all //(jrr 
pu&ticus the use of which had been assigned to them corporately* 
Finally, the system of squatting was to end; henceforward what 
ager pu&ticus remained was either to be let piecemeal on lease by 
the censors or to be left open as common land (rfjjvv eiMiptiseuus). 

Such are the more important effects of the law so far as Italy is 
concerned* The second half of the extant clauses deal with land in 
Africa and at Corinth. Here the main object was to raise money 
by the sale of public domain, possibly to nmke good in some de- 
gree the loss or revenue from Italy, but more probably to provide 
funds for the war which had been declared on jugurtha the 
year before. In the present place these clauses call for notice 
only because of the anxiety they display to safeguard all vented 
interests, among others those of the. colonists whom the Lex 
Rubria had settled round Carthage, Both in its provincial arrange- 
ments and In those which bore on Italy the law displayed no 
tendency to go back on the past: it accepts and simplifies the 

1 Brans, Fontes 9 ^ n, 1. 29. 

52 Bruns, Fontes* 9 xx. About the authorship of this law It anprnrs to the 
present writer that Cicero (ttrutus* 36, x 36) and Appinn (BfIL 6m i f 27, i 22) 
are in conflict, that Cicero should be preferred and, comwquemiy, that the* 
man from whom it took its name was Sp* Thoriutt, But in a mutter nf much 
uncertainty there is no need to insist on this point. For another view see Th* 
Mommsen, G*s. ScAr* i, p. 70, and E, G. Hardy, AY* ROHMH Laws, p, 47 4V/, 

a A completely different account of this measure would be required if die 
suggestions of Ck Saumagne (.Rnw d* PMlobgU, Sfiric nr, vol. i t i<|27 
PP- 5 wO.^ ^!^ be accepted. Reasons for their rejection are given by 
M. A, Lcvi in Riv. FiL N.S* r, 1929^ pp. 231 j. 

H,xvn] THE LAND-LAW OF in u.a 101 

existing situation, and, though it did indeed pave the way for the 
growth of large estates in Africa, it rather helped than injured the 
classes whom it had been the design of the Gracchan programme 
to benefit. The moderation of the settlement may have been partly 
due to the circumstances of the moment: the beginning of a war 
is not the most appropriate time for controversial enactments on 
subjects unconnected with the main issue of the day. But the 
measure is in accord with the whole trend of agrarian legislation 
since the death of Gaius Gracchus, The work of the Gracchi was 
accepted: those who had profited were left with their gains intact: 
the situation of 121 B.C. was not undone but, so far as possible,, 
made permanent: and the status of the public domains was sub- 
jected to a salutary simplification. So closed an epoch in the his- 
tory of the ager publicus* As a source from which land could be 
found for distribution it was now near exhaustion. Little remained 
that was suitable except the precious Campanian domain; and so, 
if land was needed by the State hereafter, either confiscation or 
purchase in the open market would soon become inevitable. In 
another context too, the year 1 1 1 B.C. is a turning point. Hitherto 
land-allotments had been used to relieve unemployment due to 
ordinary economic causes: henceforward, thanks to the army 
reforms of Marius, the most pressing claim came from the ex- 
service man. 




On his death in 133 B.C. Attalus III, the eccentric king of 
Pergamum, was found to have left a will wherein the Roman 
People had been instituted heir. The doubts east on this story by 
Sallust 1 were finally dispelled by the publication in iH^o of con- 
clusive epigraphic evidence 2 ; but the details of the bequest and 
the reasons for which it was made still remain uncertain, It is a 
plausible conjecture of Mommsen's that the action of Attains, who 
had no issue, is to be explained by nothing more subtle than the 
traditional philo-Roman policy of his house ami the reflection that 
the greatness of Pergamum was due in reality to the generosity of 
the settlement made by Manlius Vulso after the victory of Mag- 
nesia (vol. vin, pp. 232 J$0), In any case his action did little more 
than anticipate the consequences which before long must in- 
evitably follow from Rome's habitual use of Pergumum as the 
centre of the close control which she exorcised over the affairs of 
Asia. But, if the causes of the bequest are no great mystery, its 
details remain to some extent obscure. When Morns** says that the 
king left 'his property* to Rome, thin is something 1 loss than the 
whole truth. It appears from, the inscription already mentioned 
that the city of Pergamum itself, together with part of the sur- 
rounding country marked off by the testator as its special //'m- 
tortum, was to remain free; and it is not impossible that similar 
exemption from the general purpose of the will was granted to 
other Greek cities in the realm* 

When news of the royal dispositions was brought to Italy, Rome 
was in the midst of the exciting tribunate of Tiberius Cinicchus, 
and the way in which Gracchus sought to divert some part of the 
bequest to the purposes of his agrarian scheme has been described 
above (p, 30 sy.) It remains to consider the problem of foreign 
policy with which Rome was now confronted. For fifty years or 
more Asia had been included in the area whose affairs lay under 
the general direction of Rome; but Roman influence had hitherto 

i Hist, tv, 69, 8 M. Q.GJ.S. 33 - LG.R.R. iv, 289, 

8 r, 3<y (ir, 20) 2* 


been exercised through her faithful henchmen on the throne of 
Pergamum, The development now in prospect was not one to be 
faced with confidence. For Rome suddenly to be saddled with the 
task of governing a large part of Asia Minor meant a change which, 
in the absence of a proper civil service or even of any adequate 
scheme of imperial administration, might give pause to minds less 
prejudiced against annexation than those which normally de- 
termined the action of the Senate. Nevertheless, the bequest of 
Attalus was accepted without hesitation,, and its acceptance is a 
sign of that new spirit in foreign policy which marks the emerg- 
ence of the commercial class as a power in the affairs of Rome. 

The death of Attalus III seems to have befallen at a time when 
his kingdom, or at least its capital city, was shaken by social unrest. 
There was discontent among the less wealthy classes, which may 
well have been roused by the widespread repercussions of affairs 
in Sicily, and this is perhaps the explanation of a hurried measure 
taken by the citizens of Pergamum even before the will of the late 
king had been formally recognized by Rome. In the hope, it may 
be, of avoiding a servile war, the Pergamenes made generous 
grants of privilege to those sections of the population from which 
danger was particularly to be feared or whose loyalty was of 
especial value. Full citizenship was conferred on the faroikoi 
(vol. vin, p. 598) and on several categories of mercenary troops, 
and at the same time certain slaves were raised to the status of 
faroikoi: but these concessions were categorically denied to all 
individuals who had left their homes already or might subse- 
quently do so* The object of the enactment was apparently to stop 
the recruitment of some hostile force from a source whereon it 
might expect to draw. Meanwhile, in the latter part of 133 B,C, 
the Senate at Rome had passed a decree confirming all the actfe 
of the kings of Pergamum up till the day before the death of 
Attalus III 1 ; and at some time thereafter, probably not before the 
beginning of 132, a commission of five members, which included 
the egregious Scipio Nasica, was sent to Asia to make such arrange- 
ments as the situation required. 

Whatever may have been the reasons for the appointment of 
this board, the presence of competent Roman representatives in 
the East was made the more urgent by a menacing development, 
The revolutionary elements suddenly found a leader during the 
early months of 1 32 B.C. in the person of a certain Aristonicus, who 
was thought to be the son of Eumenes II and an Ephesian concu- 
bine. This individual, whose achievements show him to have been 
* O.GJ.S. 435 LG.R.R, rr, 301, 


no fool, contrived to work up the widespread dissatisfaction with 
the existing social order and the intelligible resentment felt in 
certain quarters against the late king's bequest of his dominions to 
Rome into an organized resistance to the new suzerain and all her 
friends: thus the Roman government was given an immediate ex- 
perience of the obligations incurred by accepting" the inheritance 
of the Attalids. Before long, isolated violence had developed into 
warfare on an alarming scale. Like fvfithridates Kupator in the 
next century, Aristonicus seems at first to have conceived hopes 
that, the Greeks of Asia would join his cause; but though he got 
possession of Leucae-, and though Phocaea may have moved as 
well, the fleet which he somehow contrived to raise was defeated 
off Cyme by the Kphesians. Thus ended the first phase of the 
affair. Aristonicus was now thrown hack on the native populations 
of the hinterland, whose interests naturally induced him to em- 
phasize his programme of social reform and to allow nationalist 
aspirations for independence to full into the buck ground. 

This movement, which apparently began among the serfs of 
the large estates and seems now to have drawn its main strength 
from the semi-independent population of the Mysian uplands and 
the regions to the south, took on a Utopian tone: Biossius of 
Cumae (see above, p. 21) arrived from Italy* and the *Cify of the 
Sun*' -the name of the Blessed Isle in the romance of hunbulus 
(voL vn ? p. 265 J 1 ^)- was the title chosen for the State which it 
was proposed to found. At first Aristonicus met with some success** 
even perhaps to the extent of winning IVrgamum to his side 1 ; ana 
there was a moment when other Greek cities, either perforce or 
of their own free choice, lent him their support. Thyatint and 
the neighbouring- Apollonis were captured by the rebels^ and in 
due course revolt spread southwards towards Caria where Hsdtcar- 
nassus was affected^ and the loyalty of Ssunos and Myndiu* was 
undermined. It was in the north", however, that the danger became 
most grave; for there the attacks delivered on the coastal towns by 
the Asiatic rebels were reinforced by a sympathetic movement of 
theThrucian population beyond the Hellespont 4 . Thus the trouble 
with which Rome was called "upon to deal spread from Thrace dawn 
to Cam* and its dimensions were such us to brook no trifling, 

The commission sent out from Rome in 132 B.C. could do no 
more than organize the inadequate materials for resistance avail- 
able on the spot, which consisted of nothing- but the armies of such 

1 I.G.R.R. JEW 292, II. 13 W7. a Strabo xiv, 646. 

3 See A. Wilhelm in Jethrtstuft* xr^ 1908, p. 69 40, 

4 (J.G.I.& 339, II. 16 j? ? .csco8s c I.G.R.R. iv, rj4 

Ill, i] ARISTONICUS 105 

neighbouring kings as would direct their policy at Rome's behest. 
Such as they were, these nionarchs loyally discharged their obliga- 
tions. The faithful Mithridates V Euergetes of Pontus, who had 
shown his devotion to Rome during the Third Punic War 3 seems 
to have been responsible for the suppression of the movement in 
Pergamum itself 1 ,, a service for which he was not to go unrewarded 
(see pp. io6 3 221 ^f.); Nicomedes II of Bithynia and Pylaemenes 
of Paphlagonia lent a hand ; and Ariarathes V of Cappadocia, whose 
conduct in the past had not always been above reproach^ actually 
fell in the course of the war 2 . But all this was not enough : it was 
obviously necessary that a Roman army should be sent to Asia* 
Accordingly troops were raised, and in 131 B.C. they reached the 
scene of operations under the consul Crassus Mucianus. The 
campaign of Crassus against Aristonicus is too ill-recorded to 
be followed in detail. At some time early in 130 B.C., he is found 
engaged in the siege of Leucae a the earliest headquarters of 
the enemy; but a sudden attack compelled him to retire thence 
towards the north 3 and during the retreat he was captured by 
a squadron of Thracian cavalry, in whose hands he somehow met 
his death. The command of the Roman forces passed without 
delay to M. Perperna, consul of 1 30 B.C., with whose advent Rome 
began to win the upper hand. Aristonicus was so seriously de- 
feated in the first engagement that he withdrew behind the walls 
of Stratoniceia, by which is probably meant the city of that name 
in Caria (Eski-Hissar) ; and there, after a siege, he and his fol- 
lowers were forced to sxirrender. AristonicuSj together with much 
wealth from the treasure of the Attalids, was forthwith shipped to 
Rome, where sooner or later he perished in the Tullianum: but 
Perperna did not live to enjoy the triumph he deserved. 
in 129 B.C* he was carried off by sudden death while still at 
gamum, and thus the way was opened for JVT, Aquilius, consul of 
129, who had already shown signs of a determination to see that 
Perperna should leave his natural successor some excuse for a 
campaign. But the revolt was now so completely broken that, for 
military operations, Aquilius had to be content with a solemn pro- 
gress to restore order in such outlying regions as the remoter 
parts of Mysia% and for the rest he was free to proceed with the 
work which gives him a more serious claim to notice the organi- 
zation of the Roman province of Asia. 

1 I.G.JR.R* iv, 292, 11 13 sgq* a Justin xxxvir, i, a. 

3 Sec M. Holleaux in Rev. E*J. xxx, 1919, p 2,1L 13 sqq. It w$$ on this 
expedition that Aquilius, by poisoning the wells, descended to a practice which 

even the Romans did not fall to resent (Floras i 3 35 (ir 20)* 7). 


Aqiiiliiis and the ten senatorial commissioners sent out to assist 
him seem to have set about their task with the characteristic 
determination to keep for Rome what was worth having ami to 
dispose of the rest. The rich and fertile lands in the west of the 
peninsula were formed into the province of Asia,, hut the higher 
and less valuable country to the east was available to he bestowed 
on those of the neighbouring powers whose services to Rome de- 
served some tangible reward. For these boons there was long am! 
troublesome competition, Lyeaonia, indeed, soon learnt its desti- 
nation : it was handed to the heirs of the Cappadocian Ariunuhcs V, 
who had died while fighting Aristonicus (pp. 10^ -35)* But a 
graver problem was presented by (Greater I'hrygia^ the rough but 
by no means valueless region which stretched from Lydia up to 
the borders of Galatia. For this there were two rival ilairmnls^ 
neither of whom could be lightly brushed aside: one was Mifhri- 
dates Kuergetes of Pontus, the other Nieoniedc< II of Bithytna. 
So difficult was the decision between this pair that Aquilhis and 
his colleagues^ so it was alleged^ simply knocked down the pri/.e 
to the highest bidder, who happened to be the Politic king, This 
decision, however, was violently contested both by the Bithynian 
party and by various interested sections in the political world at 
Rome, The dispute was long, Though Aquilius celebrated a 
triumph on 11 November 126 B.C., he was subsequently surused 
of corruption ; and HO widespread was the belief in his yuilt that 
the acquittal in which the trial ended supplied (tains < Iraechus 
with one of his many arguments for the necessity of reform in 
the quaestio rep6tundarttm v >* Hut this was by no means uIL (iaius 
Gracchus himself resisted a bill proposed by one Autekt% whose 
object was to confirm the grant of Phrygia to Mithruiatcs 5 *; but, 
though Gracchus changed the financial administration of the 
Roman province (sec above, p* 64 jr^.^ Rome was still refusing 
to recognize the Pen tic claims to Phrygiu whe*n Mithridatcs V 
died in i2OBc. Thereafter, possibly in 116 ,t\ a , the <{ucHtion 
was answered in a way which had much to commend it to the 
Roman point of view* Phrygia was not given to either set of 
claimants: instead, the preliminary grant to Pontm finally re- 
voked, if this had not been done sonic time before 4 , and the com- 
munities of the country seem to have been organised into 
loose form of league, which was perhaps placed under the* general 
supervision of the governor of Asia* Thus in the end Rome emerged 

1 Appian, B*IL Civ. i, 22, 92* see above, p. 70, 

a Sec Makovati, On R&m. Frag* n* p. 137 ^ 

3 C O.G.LS. 436/.G.JK.JJ. iv, 752, * < C Ap|ian t Mith. 57* 


with a province of the greatest value and with control over the vast 
area of Phrygia; but the vacillation and corruption which marked 
her progress to this satisfactory end are a discreditable chapter in 
the history of Republican diplomacy* 


From the Black Sea to the Pyrenees Rome was engaged during 
the period from 129 B.C. to the end of the second century in a 
series of campaigns which, though often individually negligible, 
together did much to lay the foundations of the later frontier. 
Their most valuable result was to forge links of connection be- 
tween the hitherto isolated areas of Roman occupation in Spain, 
Italy, the Balkan Peninsula and Asia. In the section of the line 
between the Black Sea and the Alps, Rome already controlled 
three points d*a$$ui* On the east lay the Thracian Chersonese, 
which had formed part of the Pergamene legacy and had after- 
wards been loosely attached to the province of Macedonia. Next 
came Macedonia itself. And, finally, on the west was Illyricum 
a district wherein Roman interests were so pronounced that the 
first steps towards its organization as a province seem to have been 
taken so early as 167 B.C. It was left for the Principate to establish 
Roman arms along the whole length of the Danube; but during 
the years here under consideration rapid progress was made to- 
wards stretching a continuous line of Roman territory along the 
north coast of the eastern Mediterranean. 

Such campaigns as were conducted to the north of the Italian 
peninsula itself were so brief and so circumscribed in area that they 
call for no detailed notice. In 1 18 B,C Q. Marcius Rex attacked 
the Stoeni, an Alpine tribe whose home is probably to be placed 
in the mountains north-west of the Lago di Garda ; but thereafter 
nothing more of outstanding note is recorded to have happened 
until 94 B.C., when Lucius Crassus, the orator, combed out the 
southern foothills of the Alps and so did much to secure the 
peace of the northern Italian plain 1 * Farther east, however, 
activity was more continuous. The successes of Servius Flaccus 
on the Dalmatian coast and of M, Cosconius in the hinterland 
(135 B,C.) had produced no lasting settlement of Illyricum, and 
Roman armies were again in the field by 129 B.C. C Sempronius 
Tuditanus, consul of that year, had taken himself off to the eastern 
coast of the Adriatic for reasons which were not wholly military 
(see above, p. 42); but, whatever its urgency may have bee% he 
1 Cicero, de inv. n, 37, 1 1 1 m Pis. 26, 6 a* 


called attention to his arrival by delivering an attack on the in- 
habitants of the Carso a people known to Rome us the lapudes. 
The result for the consul was an undeniable defeat, which it 
required the skill of D. Junius Brutus, the hero of the Spanish 
wars (vol. vm, p. 316),, to retrieve: but with the help of Brutus he 
won some signal successes of which notable monuments survive 1 , 
and Roman arms were carried through Dalniatia, as far as Zara 
and beyond. 

For ten years after this there was peace, but in 119 H.C. a fresh 
rising of the natives opened a long period of continuous fighting*. 
It seems that early in this year 2 the governor of IVlau'dom:!, 
Sextus Pompeius, found himself in conflict with the Seordisci, 
a great Gallic tribe who, during the migrations of the third cen- 
tury B.C., had settled south of the lower Save and whose territory 
extended to the east even across the Monivn, Jn the course of 
the fighting Pompeius was killed, and, though the situation was* 
retrieved for the moment by his quaestor, a certain M* Annhts, 
Rome had sustained a reverse which could not be overlooked. The 
duty of restoring Roman prestige belonged to I./* Mctcllus, possibly 
with the help of L* Cotta^ his colleague in the consulship of t 19 
B.C* During this year and the next he conducted some successful 
campaigns which in the end brought him back to Salonae, where he 
passed a winter 4 . Thence he returned to celebrate a triumph in 
117 B*C and to assume the name *Delmaticus/ Then, in 1 1 Jf n*c 
M, Aemilius Scaurus pushed eastwards from Aquilcia across the 
Julian Alps and established Roman influence among the Taurisci 
and other peoples round the head-waters of the Save* But 3Mucv- 
donia was still the scene of the most pressing danger. The next 
event of which any adequate evidence is preserved was a severe 
defeat inflicted by the Scordisei on C. Cato, consul of 1 14 zs.c.~~~a 
defeat so decisive that the enemy were able even to raid, Greece as 
far as Delphi; and the situation was made the more serious by the 
presence in these regions of the roving Cimbrian horde (see below,, 
p. 141), In 113 B.C* Macedonia, now almost regularly a consular 
province, fell to C* Metcllus Caprat ius> whose attention seems to 
have been engaged by the tribes of Thrace; and in 112 B.C* he 
was joined by one of his successors in the consulship, M. Livius 
Drusus, the tribune of laa B*C, Both those commanders subse* 

* Pliny, N.H. m 129; Dessau 8885. C also 11 Tamaro In 
Scrie sesta, i, 1925, pp. I syq* 

a Ditt 3 . 700: for the date see M. N. Tod in B.S.jf. xxnr> 
pp. 206 spy. and ib xxiv, 191 9-21 pp. 54 sff. t especially p, 56. 
3 Appian, ///. 10, * Appkii f tlL 1 1* 

Ill, n] WARS IN THE BALKANS ' 109 

quently triumphed in Rome ; but a lacuna in the Fasti leaves us in 
doubt about the identity of the people over whom Metellus won 
his victories, Drusus, however, is definitely recorded as conqueror 
of the Scordisci, and it may be assumed that it was he who repaired 
the damage done by the disaster to Cato. Indeed, the success of 
his operations is indicated by the story that he even advanced to 
the banks of the river Danube 1 . 

Even so ? however, the resistance of the Scordisci went on, and 
ML Minucius Rufus, one of the consuls of no B.C., opened a new 
campaign, which dxily produced its triumph in 106 B.C. and there- 
with a famous monument in Rome the Porticus Minucia, the 
scene of the pxiblic distributions of corn during the early Empire 2 . 
But the final pacification of this frontier was left for another hand, 
and for one which cannot be recognized with confidence. The 
vague story of Appian 5 * shows that, while peace was made with 
the Maedi of the Strymon valley and with the Dardani who lived 
along the banks of the Morava, the Scordisci in the end were so 
hard hit that only a remnant survived to take refuge on the 
Danube or beyond. Yet they are recorded still to have been 
fighting Rome in 76 B.C., and it must be assumed that about the 
end of the second centxiry some temporary pacification was 
achieved which did not involve their final expulsion. 

If the L. Scipio to whom Appian ascribes the final settlement 
is the same as the consul of 83 B.C., the absence of serious fighting 
during the fifteen years or so after 100 B.C. would suggest that the 
back of the resistance had been broken by one of his predecessors ; 
but the identity of this person is hard to fix. One figure alone 
stands out. In the last years of the second century T. Didius was 
praetorian governor of Macedonia, and his period of office was 
marked by an extension of the provincial frontiers 4 . This fact, 
together with his celebration of a triumph 5 and his rapid rise to 
the consulship in 98 B.C. although he was a no*ou$ homo^ is our only 
clue of value to the date of the decisive Roman success and to the 
name of at least one among its authors. For the rest there is no- 
thing to mention beyond some minor operations on the Thracian 
front, where Roman successes are recorded in 104 and 97 B.C.: 
but their importance was probably small, for no trace of them is 
to be found in the Acta 1 riumphorum, which are extant for the 
latter year. It seems that from the time of T. Didius quiet pre- 
vailed on the eastern European frontier until in the eighties of 
the last century B.C. a fresh disturbance and another inroad intd 

1 Floras i, 39 (in, 4), 5. 2 C also Dessau 8887. a 111 5, 

* &&{? m* 378, 11. 28-9, & Cicero, in Pis, 25, 61. ' '' ' 


Greece provoked the campaigns of Cn. Dolabella after his 
consulship in 81 B.C. and so inaugurated a period of renewed 
activity which culminated in the achievements of C. Curio and 
M, Lucullus, 


Even before the middle of the second century u.e, the peoples 
of southern Gaul,, either under the pressure of incipient movements 
in the far North-East or, more probably, confident in the strength 
of the loose political unity which had been formed round the tribe 
of the Arverni, had raided the territory of Massiliu and compelled 
Rome to support her old friend and ally by military intervention. 
The campaigns of Q. Opimius, though they led to no immediate 
annexation by Rome, left Massilia with her territory enlarged ami 
her security against the surrounding tribes guaranteed by an 
arrangement for the permanent deposit of hostages in her hands 
(vol. vnr, p. 330). JLess than thirty years later the (Jalliv pressure 
was renewed at a time when the circumstances of Roman 
politics had so far changed that the incident was gratefully seized 
by the government as an excuse for military operations on a scale 
so extensive that the permanent occupation of southern (Jaul 
was their almost inevitable result. Not only were the commercial 
classes a rising power in politics, but the Senate itself seems to have 
welcomed an undertaking which would distract the attentitmof the 
voters from alarming proposals of domestic reform. Accordingly, 
when the Massiliotes asked Roman aid against the raids of the 
Salluvii, an army was sent north under the command of M. Fitlvlus 
Flaccus, the friend of the Gracchi and u consul of i 25 IM*. In that: 
year or the next he marched across the Western Alps and fought 
against the Salluvii of the coast, and the Ligurca anil Voeontii 
to the north of the Durance, with sxich success that on his return 
to Rome he was allowed the honour of a triumph in 123 B.C. But 
the victories of Flaccus were not decisive, and it was left to a 
sxiccessor, C. Scxtius Calvinus~~~a consul of 1 24 n.c*~-to pacify the 
immediate neighbourhood of the Massilinn territory* Oiivinus had 
to face the same peoples as Flaecus, and he did so with determina- 
tion. Pressure on the enemy was maintained by a long scrips of 
engagements, until finally a considerable army mustered by the 
Salluvii was decisively beaten, and the 'city* of that tribe, which 
probably stood on the plateau of Aritremont, a couple of miles to 
the north-east of Aix~enProvence, was captured. For the moment 
the war was at an end* The territory of Masnilk was again en- 
larged, but this time peace was to depend on a surer guarantee than 


the deposit of hostages with the Massiliotes. By founding the 
castellum of Aquae Sextlae 1 , the object of which was undoubtedly 
to reinforce Massilia in the task of keeping open communications 
between Italy and Spain, Sextius took the first irrevocable step to- 
wards the creation of a province in southern France 2 . 

When Sextius celebrated his well-merited triumph in 122 B.C., 
his achievements had already begun to produce their inevitable 
result. The defeat of the outlying Gallic tribes and the establish- 
ment of Roman occupation beyond the western Alps caused wide- 
spread alarm in Gaul, and before long the Arverni themselves, 
who claimed a general hegemony of the country, took the field 
under their king Bituitus* With them the powerful people of the 
Allobroges was in alliance, while their rivals the Aedui took the 
side of Rome 3 . Cru Domitius Ahenobarbus, consul of 122 B.C., 
was sent north with an army of considerable dimensions, which 
even included a number of elephants ; but, before opening hos- 
tilities, he tried the method of negotiation. However, when the 
Allobroges were summoned to surrender the fugitive leaders of 
the Salluvii to whom they were giving shelter, their reply was to 
march southwards against the Romans, and thereupon, probably 
in 121 B.C., Domitius set out to meet them. A mission sent by 
Bituitus could not fool him into delaying while reinforcements 
from the Arverni joined the Gallic forces already in the field, and 
on the banks of the Rh6ne, somewhere between Avignon and 
Orange, the Allobroges were crushingly defeated: according to 
Orosius* the enemy lost three thousand prisoners and twenty 
thousand killed. But the main strength of the formidable Arverni 
had not yet been brought to bear ; so Rome sent out fresh troops 
under Q, Fabius Maximus, consul of 121 B.C* The Arverni and 
their allies, led by Bituitus himself, crossed the Rh6ne at a point 
not far from Valence 5 , and there, on the eastern bank, in the month 

1 Aquae Sextiae probably did not receive the status ofcolmia until after the 
eclipse of Massilia at the end of the Republic. 2 Strabo iv, 1 80. 

8 The authorities are here so discordant that the course of operations can- 
not confidently be described. On the general sequence of events the Livian 
tradition, supported by Valerius Maximus (ix, 6, 3), is in conflict with the 
stray remarks of Straoo and Velleius and is not easy to reconcile with the 
Acta Triumphorum. Nevertheless, the story told by Livy appears to have 
been on the whole more plausible than its rivals, and attempts to construct 
an alternative have not met with marked success, 4 v, 13, 2. 

s It is possible, however, that the Isar of Strabo (iv, 185) and the Isara 
of Pliny ( vn, 1 66) and Florus (i, 37 (m, 2), 4) are not the Isere but the 
Eygucs, in which case the battle would have been fought in the neighbour- 
hood of Orange* 


of August 12 1 1 they were beaten in a final and decisive encounter 
By this battle the fate of southern Gaul was sealed. Though 
Bituitus himself was still at large, the control ot the country south 
of the Cevennes was at the disposal of Rome, and Rome at this 
time was in no mind to refuse her opportunities, 

While Fabius returned home to celebrate a triumph, which was 
commemorated by his new surname * Allobrogicxis' and by the 
Fornix Fabianus now erected at the cast end oi the Roman Forum, 
Domitius stayed behind in Gaul to complete the work of settle- 
ment. Not only was Bifuifus captured and sent a prisoner to Ital}% 
but the Allobroges formally submitted to Rome, and their neigh- 
bours followed suit in succession until JDomitius found at his 
disposal a territory stretching front Geneva to the Pyrenees. 
Geographically, though it was marked olF to sonu* extent- by the 
mountain harrier of the Cevennes, and though its population wan 
ethnically different, at least in part, from that of the rest of < ;ud, 
this region was not a perfect unity, and its security was scarcely 
assured even when a number of the surroumlinij peoples among 
whom the Acdui and Heqtiani were the most famous., formally 
became the Friends and Allies of the Roman Peopk\ Hut, whatever 
its military weakness* it supplied the corridor between Italy and 
Spain which was one of Rome's most urgent needs* ami tor that 
reason alone the creation of a province WHS inevitable. Domitius 
was back in Rome before the end of 1 20 H.C: ; for* like hi* colleague 
FabiuS} he triumphed in that year- Yet* short us the time available 
had been, the province was already formed. M;issiliu* left in con- 
trol of the coastal region through whieh the Via Julia Augusta 
later ran, was responsible for the safety of such traffic as might 
pass that way. Farther west, between the K hone, and the Pyrenees 
the Romans addressed themselves to the construction of a gmtt 
trunk road which connected Tarascoir with the Col tin Prrthus 
and took the name * Via Domilia* from its dc.signcr, 

There remained one further step- to begin the development of 
the new resources thus brought within the reach of Roman enter- 
prise. In 1 18 H.C., or shortly before that date, it was proposed to 
send a colony of Roman citizens to Transalpine taul~*~a proposal 
painfully reminiscent of Junoniu. In spite of resistance from the 
Senate, which seems even to have gone* so far sts to cimfcst the 
project after it had been passed-"*, Narho Martins was founded 
as rival and successor to the large Celtihcraan city of Nero, 

1 Pliny, N,H< vu, 166* f Polybius in, 39, HI Strata iv 

3 Cicero, jftw Gtetnti&t 51* 140* 


thanks in some degree to the energetic support of the young 
L. Crassus, whose career as an orator was now beginning 1 . Though 
the circumstances of the dispute are lost beyond recall, the affair 
is significant. It shows the Senate by no means master of the 
political situation, even after Gaius Gracchus had been dead three 
years, and it invites the conjecture that the commercial interests 
were taking an active part in the determination of policy. Doubt- 
less, even after the Gracchan legislation, there remained a surplus 
proletariate in Rome, some members of which may have been 
anxious for an opportunity to earn a substantial livelihood in Gaul ; 
but it is difficult to believe that they alone were strong enough to 
overcome the opposition of the Senate, nor, to judge from his 
policy in later life, is it likely that these were the people for whom 
Crassus spoke. The influence which forced this foundation on the 
Senate, like that revealed in the occupation of the Balearic Islands 
and perhaps also in the Jugurthine War (see below, pp. I 2 sq . and 
132 sq.\ is more probably to be found in the commercial section of 
the upper classes a section which was now beginning to search 
with zest for new fields of exploitation and investment and which 
ended by striking its roots deep in Gallia Narbonensis, a region 
which soon could be described as * Italia verius quam provincial 


The scene now shifts to the southern shore of the Mediter- 
ranean. Peace was being restored by degrees on the European 
frontier. Operations, indeed, might still be necessary in Illyricum 
and Macedonia, and the incalculable menace of the German in- 
vasion was not far off; but for the next eight years the focus of 
interest in Roman history is moved to Africa. The Jugurthine War 
was an episode of far-reaching influence, and Sallust does not 
exaggerate when he asserts that its repercussions may be traced 
down to the end of the Republic. The more serious aspects of the 
affair must be reserved for notice after a sketch of the campaigns ; 
but at the outset, if the evidence is to yield the conclusions which 
it contains, something must be said in general about the nature of 
the authorities. 

Though they may add an occasional mite, the minor extant 
sources Livy (whose version is only known through the 

* For a monument of the part played by Crassus in this affair see 
B.Af.G. Rep. i, pp. 184 jyy. and in; plate xxx, 1014, as interpreted by 
H. Mattingly in J.R.S. xn, 1922, pp. 230^. See Volume of Plates iv, 
2, d 3 *,/. Pliny, JY.JST, in, 315 eft Cicero, pro Fontew 9 5, ; il< 

C.A.H. xx * 


Efitomes and the derivative works of Entropius and Grosius), 
Plutarch, Appian and Dio are so superficial and so fragmentary 
that, with the aid of their contributions alone, it would be im- 
possible either to reconstruct the story of the war or even to 
appreciate its significance. It is on the monograph of Sallust that 
our knowledge depends, and a proper use of the material which 
it provides is only possible if the nature and origin of the work are 
rightly understood. There is no reason to doubt that Sallust's 
interest in African affairs was stimulated by his personal connec- 
tion with the country: he went there with Caesar in 47 B.C. and 
subsequently became the first governor of Africa Nova. But for 
a mind like his the war against Jugurtha had peculiar attractions 
of its own. After the hackneyed professions whereby the historians 
of the Hellenistic age were wont to justify their calling, Sal Just 
goes on to ask the reader's notice for his theme, not only 
because the struggle was long and grim, with many vicissitudes 
of fortune, but also because it was the first occasion on which a 
challenge was thrown down to the proud claims of the nobiltt&s 
(BelL Jug. 5, i). This latter feature is the real subject of the work. 
The Gracchi, indeed, had shown undeniable signs of resistance to 
the Senate, but from a man of Sallust's outlook their achievement 
could exact at most a passing tribute of respect, Sallust was a 
follower of Julius Caesar, and the political descent of the great 
dictator was traced, not from the Gracchi, but from the earlier 
pofttfareS) among whom the Gracchi cannot strictly be included ; 
and of the outstanding poflutares by far the most famous was 
Gaius Marius (see pp. 137 Jjy.). The aim of Sallust is to show 
how Marius started on the course which was to leave him in the 
end the foremost citizen of Rome and to reveal how for the first 
time, though by no means for the last, a xovus homo rescued the 
State from a situation which the incompetence and corruption of 
the nobilifas had rendered desperate. 

^ If such was his object, it is idle to suppose that Sallust felt 
himself compelled to give an exact and detailed description of 
the African campaigns. Indeed, had he regarded accuracy and 
completeness as essential to his purpose, he could scarcely have 
essayed to write the work at all. When he was in Africa, more than 
half a century had elapsed since the end of the period with which 
he deals, and at that late stage to co-ordinate such oral tradition 
as survived would have been wholly beyond the power of a man 
whose time was absorbed by the business of administration. 
The bare outline of events might be more or less familiar, and 
doubtless a few of the more outstanding incidents lingered in 


popular memory: but it is obvious that, even if Sallust had con- 
ceived the idea of writing on the Jugurthine affair before he left 
Africa for good, his chief debt is to the scanty information pre- 
served in literature. 

About these sources little need be said, but that little is of the 
first importance. The outstanding peculiarity of the Be Hum 
Jugunhinum is its unevenness. The work may be roughly divided 
into three sections the story down to the beginning of 109 B.C. 
(cc. 142), the campaigns of Metellus (cc. 4386), and the com- 
mand of Marius (cc. 87114) and it is remarkable that on 
events in Africa Sallust has far better information for the first and 
second of these periods than for the third. This weakness of 
Sallust on the third phase becomes the more striking when it is 
remembered that here he is dealing with the crowning achieve- 
ments of his chosen hero, and that the only passages in this section 
which lay any claim to detailed accuracy are those which concern 
the doings of a man for whom Sallust had no affection the future 
dictator Sulla. The first conclusion from this evidence is clear: 
Sallust is not following any single contemporary source written on 
a scale approaching that of his own monograph. If he took as 
his basis some earlier record of the war as a whole whether this 
be the work of P. Sempronius Asellio or the treatment to be found 
in the Historiae of Posidonius this history was a superficial 
production of which the weakness is revealed in the final section 
of the Bellum Jugunhinum. At most it supplied a sketchy outline 
of the affair, which it was the task of Sallust to fill in with the aid 
of other documents more adequate though less continuous* Of the 
more copious sources there are three in particular which it is 
reasonable to conjecture that Sallust may have used. For the pre- 
liminary negotiations and the fighting during the command of 
L. Calpurnius Bestia valuable information must have been pre- 
served in the three books De vita sua by M. Aemilius Scaurus 
books which Cicero 1 describes as 'sane utiles, quos nemo legit*: 
but, if Cicero himself had read them, Sallust may well have done 
the same, though it is obvious that this was not the source of those 
aspersions on the honesty of Scaiirus with which Sallust makes 
free. In the second section, where Metellus is the central figure, 
there are signs of indebtedness to the writings of P. Rutilius 
Rufus, who himself was serving in Africa at the time. And finally, 
in the concluding chapters, where the operations of Marius are 
described, the economy of detail in almost every episode wherein 
Sulla takes no part lends colour to the obvious conjecture that 

1 Brutus , 29> 112* 


Sallust Is here filling in his outline with incidents taken from the 
Memoirs of the dictator. Thus it appears that Sallust's method was 
to block out a flimsy framework, derived from some source which 
can no longer be identified, with details drawn from various other 
publications of which three may still be recognized with some 
degree of probability. 

Successful though it be as a work of art, in its construction 
the Bellum Jugurthinum is a patchwork, and its patchwork 
nature raises the question of the degree of chronological accuracy 
which Sallust is likely to have attained in the conflation of his 
varied materials. Had it been his object merely to provide a per- 
manent record of the course which the war pursued, we might 
regret his failure and be grateful for the ingenuity which has been 
expended in modern times on the problems, both of topography 
and of time, which his text presents. But, if it be true that the 
interests of Sallust lay in the political life of Rome during the 
Caesarian age rather than in the details of warfare in Africa half 
a century before, it becomes rash to assume that his narrative was 
designed to stand microscopic examination. In what follows the 
main outlines of the story told by Sallust will be accepted, but no 
stress will be laid on minor points of geography and chronology : 
for these are just the points to which Sallust himself devoted no 
special care. 


The story of the relations between Rome and the kingdom of 
Eastern Numidia has for the most part been told already (voL vm, 
pp. 471 sqqC). Selfish as Roman policy had often been, the com* 
mon hostility towards Carthage by which both powers were moved 
had preserved an unbroken friendship between Rome and Masi* 
nissa from 204 B.C. until the death of the king at the age of ninety 
in 148. To the Numidians this friendship had by no means been 
without profit. Though the country was a Roman protectorate, 
its boundaries had been so generously extended as to make it one of 
the largest states in the contemporary world. After the capture of 
Syphax, Masinissa had been given western Numidia as an addition 
to his own dominions, and before his death his realm stretched 
from Mauretania in the west to the borders of Cyrene in the east, 
Such was the happy situation when, within the space of three years, 
two dangerous events occurred. In 148 B.C. the passing of Masi- 
nissa ^ removed a staunch friend of Rome from the control of 
Numidian affairs, and two years later the destruction of Carthage 


finally banished the fears which, since the end of the third century, 
had driven Numidia consistently to seek the support of her Italian 

For the moment, however, peaceful relations were maintained. 
The heritage of Masinissa was divided by Scipio Aemilianus 
between the three legitimate sons of the dead king Micipsa, 
Gulussa and Mastanabal; and when, soon afterwards, the deaths 
of Gulussa and Mastanabal left Micipsa the sole heir to the king- 
dom of his father, Micipsa showed himself faithful to his father's 
policy towards Rome. After Mastanabal had died, Micipsa, who 
seems still to have been childless himself, gave shelter at his court 
to a son of Mastanabal named Jugurtha, whom Masinissa had re- 
fused to recognize as a prince of the blood because his mother was 
a concubine. Before long, however, Micipsa himself became the 
father of two sons Adherbal and Hiempsal, a pair whom it was 
natural for Jugurtha to regard with the jealousy of a rival, and 
already by 134 B.C. Jugurtha had shown himself a man of such 
force and popularity that Micipsa placed him in command of the 
Numidian contingent sent to the siege of Numantia, hoping, 
according to Sallust, that he would leave his bones in Spain. But 
so far was this from being his fate that Jugurtha won the high 
esteem of Scipio, besides an intimate familiarity with Roman 
methods of warfare and a claim on the goodwill of Rome; and 
when he returned to Africa, he brought from the commander a 
letter of generous testimony to his merits. Thereafter, at a date 
which it is impossible to fix, for this or for some other reason 
Micipsa adopted Jugurtha as his son, and on his death about 
118 B.C. 1 left him joint heir to the kingdom with Adherbal 
and Hiempsal. The interest aroused in Rome by this event may 
perhaps be seen in the visit to Africa of M. Porcius Cato, 
consul of 1 1 8 B.C., who died before his work there, whatever it 
may have been, was finished 2 . 

Bickerings began forthwith. Probably in 117 B.c, 3 , even be- 
fore the division of the kingdom had been arranged, Hiempsal 
was murdered at Jugurtha's instigation, and Numidia was im- 
mediately rent by faction: the majority remained loyal to Adh- 
erbal, but a strong party of the bolder spirits gathered round 
Jugurtha* Having sent a mission to Rome to report his brother's 
death, Adherbal offered armed resistance to Jugurtha when his 

1 I/ivy, Epit. 62. 

2 Geliius, N.J{. xin, 20(19), 910. See, however, S. Gsell, Hutoirp 
anctenne de FAfrique du Nord vu, p. 65 sq 

3 Livy, Epit. 62. 


own turn came to be attacked, but he was completely defeated at 
the opening of the campaign and followed his envoys to Italy as 
a fugitive. The time had now arrived when Jugurtha, for the 
moment undisputed master of Numidia, must consider the attitude 
of his suzerain; and accordingly he too dispatched an embassy to 
Rome, laden, it is said, with the bribes whose potency^ on the 
Roman nobility he had come to know at Numantia. Thus, in 
116 B.C. or thereabouts, the Senate was called upon to mediate 
between the rival claimants to the Numidian throne. The merits 
of the case cannot have been easy to assess. Stories in flat contra- 
diction were told by the contending sides, and the Senate had no 
means of testing their veracity, save perhaps by observing the 
flagrant bribery practised by the Jugurthine deputation. This open 
corruption led M. Aemilius Scaurus and a few others to uphold 
AdherbaFs cause: but, so far as could be seen, both sides were 
alike in their devotion to Rome, and the Senate not unreasonably 
decided on a compromise. A commission of ten, led by the 
notorious L. Opimius., was sent to Africa with instructions to 
divide Numidia between the cousins; and in the end, after 
negotiations in which bribes are again alleged to have played 
their part, Jugurtha received the east and Adherbal the west, 
with Cirta as his capital. 

Such was the settlement of 116 B.C. The chronology of the 
following events is lost beyond hope of recovery. Before long the 
restless Jugurtha sought to provoke a war with Adhcrbal by 
making a sudden raid on his territory, and, when this produced 
no more than a diplomatic protest, it was followed by a full-dress 
invasion, Adherbal was now forced to resist; but his army was 
routed in a night attack on its camp between Cirta and the sea, and 
Cirta itself would have fallen immediately had not Adherhal 
escaped to the city and organized the resident Italian traders for 
its defence. Meanwhile, as soon as news arrived that fighting had 
been renewed, the Senate had sent a deputation of three young 
men to demand a cessation of hostilities ; but the mission^ though it 
was courteously received by Jugurtha, was denied access to Adher- 
bal and returned to Italy with nothing done. Next came a letter, 
smuggled through the enemy lines at Cirta, in which Adherbal 
implored the Senate to take immediate action for his relief,, and by 
this appeal opinion in Rome was so far stirred that,, in spite of the 
activity of Jugurtha's partisans, a new embassy,, in which Scaurus 
himself had & place, was on its way to Africa within three days, 
Having delivered an unsuccessful assault on Cfrta, Jugurtha 
tightened the siege and then obeyed the summons of the am- 


bassadors to meet them in the Roman province: but much talk 
again produced no result, and the Romans returned to Italy while 
Jugurtha settled his account with Adherbal. After the lamentable 
weakness which the Senate had displayed, Adherbal was at the 
mercy of his enemy, and by opening the gates of Cirta at the 
instance of the Italians, who had been the backbone of the defence, 
at most he anticipated an inevitable fate. That Adherbal was done 
to death without delay is no matter for surprise; but it was a 
startling sign of Jugurtha's contempt for Rome that, besides the 
native garrison, he slaughtered all those Italians who had fought 
against him 1 . 

When the news of these events reached Rome during the latter 
part of the summer of 112 B.C., any danger that the' friends of 
Jugurtha in high places would induce the Senate to condone their 
patron's behaviour was averted by the energetic action of one 
Gaius Memmius, who had already been elected tribune for the 
following year. Whether of its own free will or through fear of 
the popular indignation to which Memmius gave voice, the Senate 
made Italy and Numidia the provinces for the consuls of 1 1 1 B.C.; 
and, after P. Scipio Nasica and L. Calpurnius Bestia had been 
elected, Numidia fell by lot to the latter. Bestia, the tribune of 
121 B.C. (see above, p. 93), was an able man whose gifts were 
ruined by his venality: Scipio, a person of outstanding honesty and 
attractive character, died before his consulship was done. The 

government was now filled with determination. When an embassy 
om Jugurtha approached, it was expelled from Italy: an expe- 
ditionary force was recruited, Bestia formed a staff which included 
Scaurus, and in 1 1 1 B.C. the army opened operations in Africa. 
But then there followed a surprising change. Bestia had pene- 
trated no more than the fringe of Numidian territory when nego- 
tiations were suddenly begun; and, before the summer was over> 
Jugurtha had contrived to purchase recognition by the surrender 
of thirty elephants, large numbers of cattle and horses and a small 
sum of money. 

The reason for Bestia's agreement to these easy terms Sallust 
is quick to supply by suggestions of the familiar bribes, and there 
is no good reason to doubt that Bestia at least had been influenced 
thereby: but the further allegation that Scaurus was likewise in- 

1 The doubts cast on Sallust's version (Bell. yug. 26, 3) of this incident 
by Ihne (History of Rome , vol. v, p. 21, n. i), and in particular Ihne's de- 
ductions from BelL yug* 47, I (ib, p, 43, n. i), are to the present writer 
wholly unconvincing. 


volved is by no means invulnerable to criticism 1 . Yet there was 
something to be said for the accommodation : a war of unknown 
difficulty had been avoided, and peace was^ restored by an agree- 
ment which tacitly acknowledged Numidian dependence on 
Rome. In Italy, however, public opinion was roused. Mcnimius 
was indefatigable in his protests, and the agitation gathered 
strength until L. Cassius Longinus, one of the praetors of the 
year, was commissioned to fetch Jugurtha to Rome in order 
that he might reveal the names of those he had corrupted. 
Under safe-conduct he duly came; but, when^ Memmius in 
the presence of the expectant People asked him ^ the solemn 
question about his tools, another tribune, C. Baebins, ordered 
him to hold his peace. Thus for the moment the king had got the 
better of his enemies. 

Yet Jugurtha, a potentate whose energy outran his wisdom, was 
not to leave Italy without damage to his cause. The slaughter of 
the Italians in Cirta had been foolish^ and now another error of the 
same kind was to come. There was in Rome a certain Massiva, son 
of Gulussa and cousin of Jugurtha, whom Spurius Albinus, one 
of the consuls for no B.C., had induced to claim the Numidian 
kingdom for himself. So seriously did Jugurtha regard this rival 
that he instructed a member of his suite, Bomilcar by name, to 
procure his immediate assassination: but the murder was bungled, 
the murderer was caught, and when he incriminated Bomilcar the 
responsibility of the king could no longer be concealed. Kven so ? 
however, the government took no energetic measures* Bomilcar, 
for whose appearance in court Jugurtha had found bail, quietly 
went home to Africa, and soon afterwards his master followed* 
Five years later he was to visit once again the 'city up for sale and 
destined soon to perish, if it finds a buyer*- this time as a 
prisoner; for even at Rome there were some things beyond the 
power of gold. 

Rome at length meant business, and meant it so seriously that 
she was committed to a bitter struggle in circumstances of which 
the difficulties were perhaps even yet not fully known. The 
military strength of Numidia lay, not in the coastal plain where 
most of its wealth was to be found, but in the broad and rugged 
plateau which rises to the south and stretches down to the desert 
beyond; and on these uplands, where the tangled hills offer 
obstacles made more serious by the heat of summer and the 

1 On this question see in particular L. Bloch, * M* Aemillus Scaurus; <Studc 
sur 1'histoire des partis au VII* si&cle de Rome' in Mtlange$ fhistoirtancimnc, 
pp. 44 sqq. 


torrential rains of spring, Rome was to learn the weakness 
of her slow-moving legions before the light and mobile native 
levies. Rome had to acquire a new technique of war: in the end 
experience taught the lesson, but its cost was high. When the 
campaign was resumed in 110 B.C., the achievement was small. 
Before anything worth mention had been accomplished, the consul 
Spurius Albinus returned to Rome for the elections, which were 
long delayed by tribunician struggles (see above, p. 61), leaving 
in command his brother Aulus a man whose abilities as a general 
were not equal to his thirst for glory. Probably in the autumn of 
no B.C. this jack-in-office attempted to capture the town of 
Suthul, where some of the Numidian treasure is said to have been 
stored, and after a battle which Orosius (v* 1 5, 6) locates at Calama 
surprisingly far to the west the Roman camp was stormed at 
night and terms were dictated by the enemy. The army was spared 
on conditions which, though Sallust's account may be exaggerated, 
included its withdrawal from Numidia within ten days. 

If the treaty made by Bestia in 1 1 1 B.C. had been unworthy, 
the capitulation of Albinus was an outrage and a disgrace: no sec- 
tion of opinion at Rome could accept this as the last word with 
Jugurtha, Accordingly, while the Senate enunciated the unim- 
peachable doctrine that no valid treaty could be made without its 
own consent and that of the Roman People, one of the tribunes, 
C. Mamilius Limetanus, renewed the precedent set up in the case 
of the peccant Vestals (see above, p. 97) and induced the Con- 
cilium Plebis to establish a court for the trial of all persons alleged 
to have prejudiced the interests of Rome in her relations with 
Jugurtha. When the members of the court came to be chosen, it 
was seen with some surprise that a seat on the bench had been 
given to Scaurus, whom Sallust at least regards as better qualified 
for the dock: but it must be admitted in making this particular 
choice the People, besides doing something to clear Scaurus 
of the aspersions cast by his political opponents, seems in no way 
to have impaired the honesty of the investigation. L, Opimius, 
Bestia, Sp. Albinus, C. Cato and C. Galba, the last of whom was 
one of the ponfiftces^ were only the most prominent among the 
senatorial leaders on whom condemnation was pronounced; and 
the result of this exemplary visitation, however much its inception 
may have been due to popular hostility towards the Senate, was to 
make it clear beyond all possibility of doubt that those who offered 
their services against Jugurtha thereafter would compromise the 
interests of Rome, whether through incompetence or through love 
of gain, only at their own most grievous peril. 



Meanwhile 3 provision was being made for the resumption of 
the war. Towards the end of no B.C., though the tribunes had 
prevented Mm from embarking reinforcements, Sp. Albinus had. 
returned to Africa intent on retrieving the family reputation : but 
finding the army, now withdrawn to the Roman province in 
accordance with the conditions of his brother's treaty, in a state of 
utter demoralization, he remained inactive and awaited instruc- 
tions from Rome. The consuls for 109 B.C. were M. Junlus 
Silanus and Q. Caecilius Metellus, brother ofMetellusDelmatieus 
and nephew of the great Metellus Macedomeus; and to the latter 
fell the Numidian command. As leader of the Roman forces 
against Jugurtha, Metellus enjoyed advantages which none of his 
predecessors could boast: not only was he a man of high ability, 
but his honesty was above suspicion and his influence with the 
Senate such as few but a Metellus could wield* At the outset his 
efforts to raise troops were backed by a suspension of obstructive 
laws 1 , and the allies of Rome in Italy, besides friendly kings out- 
side, were moved to swell the army with contingents of volunteers, 
Then, with C. Marius and P. Rutilius Rufus on his staff, Metellus 
set out for Africa, where his first business was to restore the morale 
of the troops which he took over from Albinus. The task of forming 
the army into an effective force was long, but it seems to have been 
completed soon enough for some use to be made of the summer 
of 109 B.C., even after more time had been spent in fruitless 
negotiations with an embassy from Jugurtha. 

The short campaign of this year presents geographical pro- 
blems whose difficulty is so much greater than their importance 
that it will be enough merely to indicate their nature* Starting 
from the Roman province, Metellus began a drive westwards into 
Numidia, and, after a digression to occupy the thriving commercial 
town of Vaga, he met Jugurtha in battle on a river which Sallust 
calls the Muthul. The identification of this Muthul, which is men- 
tioned nowhere else in literature, is hard; but the serious possi- 
bilities are only two. If the Romans were moving along the normal 
route up the valley of the Bagradas, Sallust's description of the 
Muthul is best satisfied by the Oued Mellag, which flows into 
the Bagradas from the south-west just east of Bulk Regia 2 , If, on 

1 Cicero, fro Corn. ap. Ascon. p. 68 c. 

2 Ch. Saumagne in <Le champ de bataille du Muthul 7 (Rwu* tunisitnnt* 
N.S. i, 1930, pp. 3 S qq.) would place the battle on the east bank of the 
Oued Tessa a stream to the east of the Oued Mellag; but, whichever of 


the other hand, Metellus struck towards Hippo Regius 3 a town 
which would have served as an admirable base for operations 
against Cirta and its neighbourhood, the Muthul may be 
recognized in the Oued Bou Namoussa and the battle may 
be placed near the modern town of Combe 1 . On this Muthul, 
wherever it may have been, the rival armies fought a long- 
drawn encounter ending in a definite but wholly indecisive 
Roman victory. Jugurtha himself was still at large ; though one 
army had been broken up, he was free to raise another; and, 
worst of all, experience had shown that no amount of successes 
like that on the Muthul would bring the war to an end, unless 
by chance Jugurtha was captured or killed in action. For that 
reason the most important outcome of the conflict may be seen 
in the change which it wrought in the Roman strategy. In- 
stead of seeking pitched battle again, Metellus essayed to deprive 
the king of his points d'appui and to shake the allegiance of the 
civilian population by capturing the inhabited centres, of which 
some were destroyed and others occupied by garrisons. To this 
end it was necessary to split the army into flying columns, which 
soon, as a precaution against the sudden raids of the Numidians, 
were formed into two groups under the charge of Metellus and 
Marius. Operations of this kind, which probably extended into 
the winter of 1098 B.C., were conducted in the region east of the 
Oued Mellag, and before Metellus led his troops back into the 
province for the rainy season, though the Romans had occupied 
Sicca, Jugurtha had the satisfaction of forestalling their attempt 
to capture the more important city of Zama (Regia). Thereafter 
Metellus withdrew the bulk of his forces behind the frontier, 
leaving detachments in such of the places gained as were capable 
of defence. 

During the idle period when the armies were in winter quarters 
Metellus did not relax his efforts to end the war. By lavish pro- 
mises he tried to induce the infamous Bomilcar to betray his 
master: but, though Jugurtha went so far in response to Bomilcar *s 
plea for an immediate peace as to surrender a large quantity of 
money and material, he wisely refused to appear in person in the 
Roman camp; and finally, when the weather made fighting possible 

1 This view, which for the present writer has some attractions, is pro- 
pounded by M. A. Levi, *La battaglia del Muthul/ in jitme e Roma 9 N.S. 
vi, 1925, pp. 188-203. I* *$ however, summarily rejected by Gsell 
{op. cit. vn, p. 191, n. i), and in default of further investigation on the 
spot final judgment on the theory Is perhaps best suspended. 


again, he renewed the war. By this time the command of Metellus 
had been prorogued for the year 108 B.C. 

The initial operations of the new campaign were determined 
by an event which had occurred during the course of the ^winter. 
On the Feast of the Cereres there had been a sudden rising at 
Vaga, where every man of the garrison and of the resident Italian 
population was massacred by the native inhabitants with the ex- 
ception of the commander, T.TurpiliusSilanus 1 . The first business, 
consequently, was to avenge this crime. Vaga was recovered and 
Turpilius, though a Latin, was put to death 2 . Next, after Jugurtha 
had detected a plot formed against his life by Bomilcar and one Nab- 
dalsa, both of whom perished for their pains, the two armies came 
into contact: Jugurtha was again defeated and fled to a place called 
Thala, the site of which cannot be located with confidence. Thither 
Metellus pursued, though the city lay fifty miles from the nearest 
river which could be used for a regular supply of water., and at his 
approach Jugurtha immediately decamped. But Thala was an 
important city, which contained one of the king's many stores of 
wealth, and its capture seemed worth while even though the 
greatest prixe of all had flown. Accordingly Metellus undertook 
a siege, which after forty days a number which in Sallust should 
not be taken literally delivered the town into his hands, 

Such is Sallust's meagre account of the campaign of 108 B.C., 
and the account is certainly incomplete. When Jugurtha escaped 
from Thala, at a time which was probably still in the spring, he 
broke off contact with Metellus and was engaged on business of 
his own which cannot have taken less than several months* First 
he went south to the Gaetulian country where he raised and 
trained another army, and after that, like Abd-el-Kader at the 
corresponding period of his history, he turned for aid to people of 
Mauretania. Bocchus, the king of that region, had married one of 
his daughters to Jugurtha, but in spite of this bond his intentions 
were not wholly friendly. Undoubtedly he yearned to extend his 
own realm eastwards at the expense of Numidia, and it can only 
have been the fear that, if Jugurtha's power collapsed, he might find 
in the Romans a neighbour still more dangerous that induced 
Bocchus to lend ear to proposals for a military alliance. At length, 

1 A brilliant interpretation of Sailust, BelL Jug. 66, a Is given by 
J. Carcopino in 'Salluste, le culte des Cereres et les Numldes,* Rw. hist. 
158, 1928, pp. isqq* 

2 Sallust, Bell. Jug. 69, 4. On this see H. Stuart Jones in Eng. Mitt. 
Rev. xxvnc, 1 9 1 3, p. 1 42. It must be remembered, however, that the reading 

civis ex Latio' is so badly attested as to be little better than a conjecture. 


however, an agreement was reached and the two monarchs advanced 
together towards Cirta, where they found Metellus 1 . But still the 
decisive engagement was postponed: for his own good reasons 
the Roman commander refused a battle and contented himself 
with an attempt to dissuade Bocchus from committing himself 
irrevocably to the Numidian cause. 


Jugurtha, by now deprived of eastern and central Numidia, was 
an enemy whose final subjugation seemed only a matter of time ; 
but energetic action was still required, and the explanation of 
Metellus' inactivity was purely personal. By prolonged pressure 
on his commander, Gaius Marius had at. length secured leave to 
return to Rome in 108 B.C. and present himself as a candidate at 
the consular elections for the following year. Once he was in the 
field, his cause enjoyed an ominous popularity. The ground, in- 
deed, had been prepared; for Marius, with a skill which would 
have done credit to the old nobility whose political craft he con- 
temptuously disclaimed, had ranged public opinion on his side 
while he was still in Africa. Reports had been sedulously sent 
home to the effect that, through love of glory or ignorance of war, 
Metellus was needlessly protracting the campaign, and these 
announcements had their intended effect. The commercial class 
whose first desire was to see Numidia re-opened to Roman trade, 
the more substantial citizens whose liability to recruitment filled 
them with dislike for long-drawn wars, and men of insight from 
whatever quarter who appreciated the danger which now threa- 
tened Rome from the North, must all alike have listened with at- 
tention to the words of an experienced soldier who had boasted 
that with half the army of Metellus and a free hand he would have 
Jugurtha a prisoner within a few days. Accordingly Marius was 
elected, and shortly afterwards, as a result of popular interference 

3 The failure of Sallust to explain how the Romans came to be far to the 
west of the scene wherein their recent activities had been laid and how they 
gained possession of Cirta, the citadel of Numidia and one of the strongest 
positions in the world, is perhaps the gravest of his many omissions. It is the 
necessity for finding time wherein this extensive operation may be placed 
which leads the present writer to identify the winter mentioned by Sallust in 
Be/L Jug. 6 1, 2, with that of 109 8 B.C., so that the attack on Zama belongs 
to the late campaigning season of 1 09 B.C. and the following year is left free 
for the capture of Thala, with its preliminaries, and for a subsequent advance 
on Cirta, 


with the arrangement of provincial commands already made 1 an 
Interference of great significance^ which portends the action of 
the People for the benefit of Pompjey and of Caesar he was 
appointed to succeed Metellus in Africa. 

In the coming conflict with Jugurtha the new commander did 
not propose to rely on skill alone. He soon revealed that, brief as 
the necessary campaign might be. Its success after all would depend 
on reinforcements. Once his command had been assured^ he set 
about the business of recruitment forthwith. All the sources drawn 
on by Metellus two years earlier Latins, Italian allies and client 
states were tapped again : but this time there was an innovation 
of the gravest moment. When Marius opened the ranks to citizens 
of whatever wealth, without regard to the classes of the centuriate 
organization, he was taking an unprecedented course which gave 
him an army not only larger than had been proposed but- so far 
as the Roman element was concerned mainly composed of wpite 
censi (see further below, pp. 133 j^y.). Munitions had been sent 
ahead under a legatu$\ and, when Marius followed, P. Riitilius in 
the name of Metellus handed over the command at Utica, while 
Metellus himself returned to Rome by another route to receive 
a well-merited triumph and the surname of Numidicus, 

At the advent of the new commander, Jugurtha and Bocchus 
had separated, and Marius, after training his army in a series of 
attacks on Ill-defended townships., was free to develop his plans 
along the lines of his own choosing. At first there were battles, and 
when these neither brought nor promised any decisive result 
Marius passed on to a policy singularly like that which Metellus 
had followed after the fight on the Muthul. If any difference is to 
be discerned between the methods ascribed to Metellus in BelL 
Jug. 54, 56 and those of Marius as set forth in Bell. Jug. 88, 4> 
the difference at most is that, whereas Metellus directed his 
energies rather to terrifying the native population Into passivity, 
Marius concentrated on the capture of all such places as might 
provide Jugurtha with a base. But both alike planted garrisons 
about the country; and, If those of Marius were more numerous 
than his predecessors, their number is probably to be explained 
by the larger forces which Marius had at his disposal. It is to be 
noticed, however > that the narrative of Sallust in no way suggests 
that it was in order to make possible a more extensive system of 
occupation that the Roman army had been strengthened* 

The incident in the campaign of 107 B,C* which Sallust has 

1 The details of this incident are lost through the uncertainty of Sallust's 
text in the relevant passage (Bell. Jug. 73, 7). 


chosen to narrate is one which throws lamentably little light on the 
intentions of the general. He had been unable to take the field 
until the summer was advanced^ and the skirmishes with Jugurtha 
had doubtless occupied some weeks. Thus, if his consulship was 
not to belie the hopes which it had raised, there was undoubted 
need for energetic action to impress public opinion at home and 
also, perhaps, to maintain the prestige of Roman arms among the 
Numidian population. He therefore decided to deliver an attack 
on Capsa a town so far to the south that its only relevance to the 
war can have been its nearness to the Gaetulian allies of Jugurtha, 
Capsa was duly sacked, the spirits of the troops rose even higher 
than before, and the first consulship of Marius had one achieve- 
ment to its credit. 

When Capsa had been destroyed,, Marius developed a general 
attack on the enemy strongholds throughout Numidia, This may 
well have continued during the winter of 1076 B.C., even though 
Sallust's failure to mention winter-quarters is no cogent reason for 
denying a temporary suspension of hostilities. But it seems clear 
that by the spring of 106 B.C. the last hopes of resistance had been 
destroyed over all that region which lay between the frontier of the 
Roman province and a line running north and south somewhere 
to the west of Cirta. It now remained to deal with western Nu- 
midia Jugurtha's original domain and to end whatever danger 
may have existed that Bocchus and the Mauretanians would 
supply Jugurtha with the forces which his own territories could no 
longer provide. In the narrative of Sallust Marius next appears 
we may assume with his imperium now prorogued before a forti- 
fied position near the river Muluccha, which flowed about five 
hundred miles west of Cirta and divided the kingdom of Numidia 
from the realm of Bocchus. The attack on this stronghold and the 
happy accident by which the search for snails led a Ligurian to 
find a means of entry derive no special claim to mention from the 
fact that this incident alone in the whole campaign has been chosen 
by Sallust for record. Sallust's story deserves notice solely as a 
clue to the nature of the operations on which Marius was engaged 
in 1 06 B.C. -a long westward thrust designed at once to drive 
Jugurtha out of that part of his dominions which had not been 
denied him already and also to show the power of Rome on the 
frontiers of Mauretania. 

The attempt, however, to awe Bocchus into neutrality was not 
a complete success, Jugurtha, whose cause was lost if he was to 
depend on his own resources alone^ made offers to cede a third of 
Numidia in return for Mauretanian aid, and by this bribe Bocchus 


was finally persuaded. In face of this new danger Marlus was 
strengthened by the arrival of reinforcements for his cavalry, and 
with them of a leader cast for an outstanding role. L. Cornelius 
Sulla, quaestor in 107 E.G., had been left in Italy to raise these 
mounted troops, and this contingent joined the army in Africa at 
some time during the western expedition 1 . After their demonstra- 
tion the Romans were retiring eastwards to winter on the coast, 
where supplies could more easily be had, when news arrived of an 
even t possibly of two events whose significance was grave* 
According to a story preserved by the Livian tradition 2 , though to 
Sallust it is unknown, at about this time Cirta was temporarily 
lost: if this be true, the urgent necessity of recovering what was 
a nodal point on the Roman line of communications may have 
hastened the retreat of Marius and determined the direction of his 
march. In the narrative of Sallust the operations on the borders of 
Mauretania are directly followed by fighting in a region less than 
a hundred miles west of Cirta. Late one evening, while he was on 
his way, Marius was attacked by the army of the allied kings. 
After an even battle, he contrived to reach two neighbouring hills 
which gave his men protection for the night; and next morning, 
when the battle was renewed, a Roman victory was won. The march 
was then continued with every precaution against surprise, and on 
the third day, not far from Cirta itself, contact with the enemy was 
made again. The battle which followed was long and hard, but it 
ended with a result so decisive that the serious fighting of the war 
was over and Cirta if it had ever been lost was delivered to the 
Romans without resistance. 

Four days later an embassy arrived from Bocchus. Marius him- 
self seems to have concentrated on military business and in par* 
ticular on preparations for an expedition to the south ; the conduct 
of diplomatic affairs was left to A. Manlius and Sulla, of whom the 
latter had greatly distinguished himself in the recent fighting. The 
negotiations were protracted until Marius had returned from his 
southward drive; but in the end Bocchus sent a second mission 
with the request that it might be given access to the government 
in Rome, and, after a conference to which every senator within 
reach was summoned, permission for the joiirney was forthcoming. 
At Rome the deputation received a dexterous reply: Bocchus 

1 The suggestion of Sallust (BelL Jug, 95, i) that Sulla did not come up 
with Marius until the Muluccha had already been reached is probably due 
to Sallust's carelessness in fitting information from Sulla's Memoirs Into the 
narrative of his basic authority: if so, it need not be taken seriously, 

2 Dio, frag. 89, 5: Orosius v, 15, JO. 


might be granted pardon in the end, but first he would have to 
earn it. So back went the envoys to their king, whose relief at the 
hope of peace gave his policy a new deter ruination. He asked for 
the presence of Sulla at his court, and thither Sulla made his way 
after a journey of many perils, among which was a march through 
the camp of Jugurtha himself. At first the king claimed peace in 
return for no more than promises of friendship ; but, when Sulla 
insisted that deeds, not words, were what Rome demanded, with 
much reluctance he consented to a plot whereby Jugurtha should 
be betrayed. Jugurtha was duly made a prisoner, and thus, at some 
time in 105 B.C., by treachery and the help of an ally, Rome 
emerged triumphant from a struggle which had threatened, so long 
as she depended on her own strength alone, to lead to the establish- 
ment of a permanent military occupation of Numidia. The end of 
the war was timely. On 6 October in this same year the defeat of 
two Roman armies in Gaul opened the crisis of the Teutonic in- 
vasion (see below, p. 144). The European frontier needed above 
all a general of ability, and such a one Africa could now provide ; 
for, though the final capture of Jugurtha was mainly due to the 
diplomacy of Sulla, public opinion gave all the credit to Marius, 
the commander. Before his return from Africa Marius was elected 
consul for 104 B.C., and his second year of office was opened on 
i January with a triumph, wherein the chief prize Jugurtha 
was shown once more to the gaze of the Roman mob. Thereafter 
he perished in the Tullianum. 

Little need be said of the issue which still was debated at Rome 
when the Jugurthine War had long ceased to be contemporary 
history. The achievements of Metellus arid Sulla were set against 
those of Marius, and praise or blame was distributed with the 
strictest loyalty to party. The nobility was right in its contention 
that Metellus had done more than half the work and that the final 
success was due as much to the diplomatic dexterity of Sulla as 
to the military operations of his commander. Yet, though It was 
absurd for them to say that Marius had converted utter failure into 
victory immediate and complete, the pofulares might with justice 
reply that the betrayal of Jugurtha by Bocchus was far from in- 
evitable and was, indeed, the result of Marius' victories in the field. 
If Numidia had not been denied him, Jugurtha would not have 
been thrown back on Bocchus ; and if Bocchus had not learnt in 
battle that Rome was no power to be wantonly antagonized, 
Jugurtha would never have been betrayed. 

It is of more value, however,, to consider the settlement which 
Rome adopted. Of a desire to annex she showed no sign : it is 

C.A.H* IX 9 


certain that the frontier of the Roman province was not seriously 
advanced, and it is highly doubtful whether the line was altered 
even by minor rectifications 1 , Rome was content with a consider- 
able amount of booty and the assurance that among the powers of 
North Africa, over all of whom her suzerainty was now established, 
none would be found to claim the inheritance of Carthage* Though 
Marius may have settled a few Gaetulians on Numidian territory 
just beyond the Roman frontier 2 , and though Leptis Magna had 
thrown off its allegiance to Jugurtha during the war, eastern 
Numidia suffered no encroachment by Rome; and this region duly 
received as its king one Gauda a son of Mastanabal and half- 
brother of Jugurtha who had been named as a secondary heir 
by Micipsa in his will Gauda thus controlled at least that part 
of Numidia which had been awarded to Adherbal in 1 1 6 B.C. (see 
above, p. 118), and with it Cirta, the capital. Between this king- 
dom and the boundaries of Mauretania it is possible that an in- 
dependent State was formed in western Numidia, to include some 
part at least of the district assigned to Jugurtha by I ,, Opimius 
and his colleagues 3 . But this creation, if it belongs to so early a 
date at all, was small^ sandwiched between the powers of Gauda 
to the east and Bocchus to the west. Bocchus was the one party 
to the affair who emerged with profit. Not only did he become 
a Friend and Ally of the Roman People, but his kingdom was en- 
larged at the expense of Numidia. The line of his new frontier to 
the east cannot, indeed, be determined; but there is no doubt that 
Rome honoured an undertaking given by Sulla during the course 
of the negotiations that, if Bocchus proved his loyalty to Rome, 
he would be granted the whole of the region lately offered him 
by Jugurtha a region which is described as a third of all Numidia, 
Thus, under the general superintendence of Rome, the native 
powers were left to control North Africa as before, and Rome 
herself, content with the existing province, withdrew from the 
country to the west with a memorable lesson on the dangers of 
meddling in dynastic struggles and the knowledge that Numidia, 
at least, was safe for the traders of Italy, 

1 For this possibility see T. Frank, in Am. Journ, of Phil, xtvn, 1926, 
pp. 56 sqa. 9 and on the other side S, Gsell, op. cit. vu, p. 9 $q. 

2 See S. Gsell, he. cit. See S, Gsell, op. n>, vn, p, 26?. 



Trade in Numidia recalls the unhappy Italians slaughtered by 
Jugurtha when Cirta was surrendered by Adherbal (see above, 
p. 1 1 9), and the presence of these aliens in the Numidian capital 
raises the first of those problems which give the struggle an im- 
portance in Roman history far exceeding any which can be claimed 
for the military operations alone. That Rome, at a time when serious 
danger was threatening on her European frontier, should embark 
on a war in the most difficult country merely to settle the domestic 
differences of the Numidian royal house, that she should refuse 
an opportunity to withdraw, if not with glory, at least without 
disgrace, and that she should finally entangle herself so deep in 
this undertaking as to prejudice her ability to deal with the graver 
menace of the North all these are matters which excite surprise 
and call for explanation. At the outset it must be remembered that 
nothing could stir Rome to more unreasoning fear than the pro- 
spect of a great power established in North Africa. After almost 
a century, the horrors of the Hannibalic War were still undimmed, 
and such was Rome's determination to avoid all further peril from 
the South that it may well have been in order to prevent Carthage 
falling into Masinissa's hands that the city was destroyed in 
146 B.C. and its territory turned into a Roman province. With an 
outlook such as this, Rome might naturally act with energy when 
the kingdom of Numidia an area of enormous extent and great 
potential wealth fell into the hands of a king whose variable 
attitude towards Rome bordered, in its less gracious moments, on 
the contumacious. Yet, for all his indiscretions, Jugurtha did not 
want war : there is every reason to believe that he not only sought 
but needed the peace made with Bestia in 1 1 1 B.C., and nothing 
justifies the suspicion that, if its terms had been accepted by 
Rome, they would have been broken by the king. The policy of 
Jugurtha is plain. Having coveted the Numidian throne he won 
it; and then, when he desired nothing more than to be left in the 
enjoyment of his gains, he was prepared to pay a reasonable price 
for peace. 

It was Rome who insisted on war to the end, and the reason 
for this insistence is to seek. Jugurtha, even before the murder 
of Massiva, had certainly behaved in a way which suspicious minds 
might interpret to imply a deep hostility : but he had done nothing 
which any rational judgment could interpret as evidence of a de- 
termination to challenge the Roman power or even to molest the 
province in Africa. Nevertheless Rome was set on his complete 


destruction. Whatever the reason for this may have been, it was 
not a lust for annexation : when the war had been brought to its 
victorious end, the meagre Roman territory in Africa remained 
almost exactly what it had been before. The course of events at the 
beginning of the affair makes it clear that Rome was not bent on 
war from the start: as usually happened, she suddenly discovered 
that a series of diplomatic exchanges had committed her to military 
operations which at the outset had not been envisaged at all. But, 
though so much may be freely admitted, it is less easy to divine the 
reason why, after a certain point had been reached, the govern- 
ment refused every opportunity to withdraw from the struggle 
until Jugurtha had been either killed or captured. The explanation 
suggested by the narrative of Sallust is that, when the prestige of 
Rome had been compromised by the incompetence of Bestia and 
the Albini, the masses took the bit between their teeth and insisted 
on the prosecution of the struggle until the supremacy of Rome 
had been vindicated beyond all dispute. In this there is doubtless 
truth, but it is perhaps permissible to suspect that Sallust, in his 
anxiety to uphold the wisdom of the Concilium Plebis and the 
tribunes, has given undue prominence to a factor which was not 
alone in guiding Roman policy. Numidia was a country still waiting 
for development. The agricultural policy of Masinissa 1 can scarcely 
have been carried to completion at so early a date as this, and 
there must have been many regions whose conversion from pas- 
turage to arable cultivation only awaited the capital which was 
needed for their equipment. Moreover, the country was rich in 
timber of the choicer kinds; and, though their development is 
barely recorded before Roman times, the mines and marble 
quarries of Numidia subsequently became an important element 
in the resources of the imperial age 2 . Such considerations as these 
are enough to show that there is no matter for surprise in Sallust's 
story of the Italian traders who fought for Adherbal at Cirta; and, 
if Numidia had already attracted the notice of Italian commer ce> 
it is not impossible that the commercial interests of Rome did 
something to uphold the hands of those who were resolved to Bee 
the war through to an end of a kind which, besides restoring the 
shattered reputation of Roman arms, would have the very valuable 
advantage of making Numidia a land wherein Italians might move 
freely for the conduct of their business, whatever that business 
might be. Apart from the destruction of Carthage and Corinth 

1 Polybius xxxvi, 16, 78, 

2 For a general account of the economic possibilities of Numidia in the 
second century B.C. see S. Gsell, of. >,, v pp. 169-212, 


and the foundation of Gracchan colonies, the affairs of the Balearic 
Islands (p. 152 sq.} and of Narbo Martius (p, 112 jy.) are perhaps 
enough to suggest the hand of the trader. If so, it is at least 
conceivable that commercialism played a part, not perhaps in 
originating, but at least in strengthening the policy pursued by 
Rome during the Jugurthine War 1 . 

Significant as may be the appearance of a commercial factor in 
the direction of Rome's affairs, its significance is overshadowed by 
that of another change which belongs to this period a change 
which determined the nature of Roman history throughout the 
remaining years of the Republic. The innovation made by Marius 
in the recruitment of the legions probably did more than any 
other single factor to make possible that series of civil wars which 
only ended with the establishment of the Principate. Yet, grave 
as its results turned out to be, the work of Marius has often 
been exaggerated; and, if its author is to be fairly judged, it will 
be necessary to appreciate the seeming slightness of the reform 
from which such tremendous consequences flowed. 

The Roman army which Marius found was still in theory what 
it had always been a force of which the main strength was 
supplied by a citizen-militia enrolled in the legions. In its military 
organization, as in its system of civil administration, the State 
practised the strictest economy in the matter of a permanent 
establishment. When war was imminent, citizens were summoned 
to the colours and, though some concessions on this point were 
made in course of time (see above, p. 62 Sf.*), they were expected to 
supply their own equipment: when peace was restored, the army 
was disbanded, and it was assumed that the troops would return 
to their homes without any pension or gratuity beyond such share of 
the booty as had come their way. Thus Rome essayed to run her 
army without a War Office; but the simplicity of the system was 
purchased at a price. Apart from any doctrinaire theories which 
might suggest that the burden of military service most justly fell 
on those who had property for whose protection they could fight, 
the assumption that the troops should provide their own armament 
meant that service had to be confined to citizens of sufficient 
wealth to meet the inevitable expenses. The result was the system 
whereby liability to recruitment normally bore on none but those 
who were in one of the five classes of the centuriate organization, 
whereas the so-called -proktarii or capite censi citizens whose 

1 The writer must here acknowledge his debt to a lecture delivered in 
London on 23 June 1925 by G, De Sanctis, recently published as 'Sallusti 
e la guerra di Giugurta* in Problemi di storia antica (pp. 187 


wealth was less than the minimum required for the lowest of the 
five classes remained exempt. The most serious of its defects 
the fact that it demanded military service, for periods which now 
were often long, from citizens of substance who could least well 
be spared from civil life, while the poor, who contributed little or 
nothing to the economic welfare of the State, were left at home 
had been mitigated to some extent by successive reductions in the 
minimum census required for inclusion in the fifth of the classes. 
Indeed, Gaius Gracchus had been impelled by the poverty of at 
least some of the recruits to make arrangements for the supply 
of their equipment at the public cost. But, in spite of this, 
the system as a whole remained the same, in practice as well as in 
theory. Property was still a qualification ; the levy was still com- 
pulsory; and, though the wealthiest families of all might contrive 
to get exemption for their members in one way or another, the 
legions still contained men of substance, even when some of their 
poorer brethren had been admitted as well. 

It was over the more prosperous legionaries that difficulties 
arose. Their prosperity meant that they had some means of liveli- 
hood in civil life, and the existence of such ties with home made 
them anxious, not for campaigns of indefinite duration, but for 
demobilization at the earliest possible moment. Hence, though 
Roman patriotism did not fail when the dangers of the State were 
prolonged, there arose those agitations for discharge which are 
recorded from time to time during the second century 1 ., and which 
may even have lent strength to the claims of Marius during his 
canvass for the consulship in 108 B,c, 2 Such was the situation 
when Marius threw open the legions to volunteers and abandoned 
all inquiries about the census of the recruits 3 . In appearance the 
innovation was not great. On rare occasions already the govern- 
ment had adopted something like a voluntary system 4 , and when 
Marius enlisted prole tarii as such he only completed the process 
begun by the recent reductions in the minimum qualification for in- 
clusion in the classes. Nevertheless the result was enormous, and 
for this reason that the system of recruitment was now in prac- 
tice voluntary and that the supply of volunteers was so large that 
there was no need to fall back on the latent power of compulsion. 
Thus the legions, which in the past had contained at least a leaven 
of citizens whose prosperity meant that they and their families had 
a means of livelihood at home to which they were naturally anxious 

1 See Livy xxxiv, 56, 9; XL, 35, ix. 2 Sallust, Bell. Jug. 6, 4. 

a Sallust, EelL Jug. 86j 2. J 

4 Livy xxviu, 45, 13; xxxr, 14, i-a; Appian, Ib*r. 84. 


to return, were now composed entirely of men who had enlisted 
because, to them, the army held out greater attractions than civil 
life. In the past the soldiers of substance had regarded military 
service as a tiresome interruption in their work at home, to be 
ended with the least possible delay; now the army was composed 
of men to whom military service was the occupation of their choice, 
to be protracted as long as possible. The great and vital change 
which Marius introduced was, not to admit the proletarii (for that 
had been done in all but name before), but to rid the legions of 
that element which demanded with an insistence, because 
of its wealth, not lightly to be disregarded demobilization at 
the earliest opportunity. Henceforward the legions were prepared 
to serve as long as an excuse for service could be found. 

Such was the greatest of the Marian reforms : but it is impor- 
tant to remember its limitations. Though, as will be seen, its effect 
was to give the army a place of unprecedented power in the 
political life of Rome, the theory of the military system remained 
what it had been hitherto. Armies were still recruited for this war 
or that: there were as yet no permanent camps in which legions 
might be quartered when not on active service. Recruits still en- 
listed for service in some particular series of operations, and when 
these operations were over they might expect to be disbanded. 
Rome was still in theory without a standing army : if the armies 
were chronic, the reason for that was simply that during the re- 
mainder of Republican history wars were continuous. Nor was 
there any change in the period of service. According to the Roman 
practice, liability for legionary duty was confined at ordinary times 
to the iuniores citizens between the ages of seventeen and forty- 
six; but if, owing to the warlike nature of the times, it happened 
that a man had served in the field for more than a certain number 
of years (which need not necessarily have been continuous) before 
reaching his forty-sixth birthday, he was allowed forthwith to re- 
gard himself as a senior and to enjoy the exemption from further 
fighting in the field which that status implied. The number of 
campaigns required to earn this exemption seems to have varied. 
The figure given in the text of Polybius 1 is corrupt, but there can 
be no doubt the legitima sti-pencfia were normally more than the six 
which were accepted as enough in 140 B.C. 2 , when the Roman 
army in Spain was in a state of such exceptional discontent and 
insubordination that it had to be humoured by special concessions : 
during the twenties of the second century ten years seem to have 
sufficed 3 . The precise number of campaigns which entitled to 

1 vi, I9> 2. 2 Appian., Iber. 78. 3 Plutarch, Gracchi, 23, 4. 


discharge during the period between Marius and Augustus is 
unimportant and cannot be determined with certainty, though it is 
clear that some such limit was recognized. For instance, in 68 B.C. 
steps were taken to discharge those of Lucullus' troops who had, 
apparently,, been recruited in 86, The point, however, jwhich calls 
for all possible emphasis is that, whereas in the days before Marius 
it was the troops themselves who demanded the discharge to which 
they were entitled, after recruitment had become wholly voluntary 
the release of time-expired men is an issue only raised by the 
political enemies of the imferator concerned. Though it must 
be admitted that Lucullus was no great favourite with his troops, 
the true attitude of the legions in Asia whose discharge was ordered 
from Rome in 68 B.C. and among whom Publius Clodius had been 
engaged in fomenting discontent upon the spot is revealed by the 
fact that, having been once, if not twice, demobilized on the 
ground that their legitima stipendia had been served, they never- 
theless took the first opportunity of enlisting again under 
Pornpey 1 . So too the supposed grievances of such soldiers in 
Caesar's army as were entitled to discharge would never have been 
canvassed in 51 B,C, had not their exploitation suited the political 
convenience of his opponents 2 . 

Thus the effect of the change in the method of recruitment was 
to constitute the legions of men who made soldiering* a profession 
and whose natural reluctance to lose their livelihood left them in- 
different to the nature of the cause in which they fought. When 
the war for which they were recruited was ended, it was nil to the 
good if their general found some other excuse for keeping his 
army together, and it mattered nothing to the troops if the excuse 
was no more than a selfish and treasonable struggle for the general's 
own political advancement. But it was not merely gratitude for 
continued employment or devotion bred of long companionship 
in arms that united the legionaries to their commander by a bond 
which the claims of patriotic duty could not sever* There was a 
very special reason which impelled the troops to stick to their 
leader even though he proposed to use them, no longer in the 
interests of the State, but in his own. When men make the army 
a profession, they cut themselves off from civil life; and, if it is 
their gx>od fortune to survive till the age when they are too old for 
further active service, they may reasonably expect some provision 
to be made for their declining years. The long and continuous ser- 
vice rendered by the legionaries after the time of Marias demanded 
a system of pensions as its reward, and such a system did not yet 
1 Die xxxvi, 1 6, 3. * Cicero, adfam* viw, 8, 7. 


exist. To meet the need nothing more than an haphazard ex- 
pedient was devised : when an army was to be demobilized, a lex 
agraria was passed to provide the veterans with allotments of land. 
But to secure the passage of such a bill, as was revealed most 
clearly by the experience of Pompey in 60 B.C., all the influence of 
the imperator himself and more was needed: if the veterans 
were not to be cast destitute upon the street, they must follow their 
commander to the bitter end. Such was the most potent cause of 
the tie which united generals to their armies during the last de- 
cades of the Republic; and the union was one of most disastrous 
consequences to Rome. Indeed,, it made possible the civil wars. 
Before many years had passed it became one of the most urgent 
problems facing Roman statesmanship to break the tie between 
commanders and their men,, and to leave the Senate and Roman 
People the sole claimants on the allegiance of the army. The solu- 
tion was long in coming* Sulla sought it in vain, and it was left 
for the genius of Augustus, by instituting the aerarium militare^ 
to make the State itself responsible for pensions in a way which 
rendered it unnecessary for the troops to pin their hopes on any 

Such were the far-reaching consequences of filling the legions 
by voluntary recruitment and so forming an army of professional 
soldiers. The remaining military reforms ascribed to Marius will 
appropriately receive such notice as they deserve in connection 
with the history of the Germanic invasions (p. 146 sq^ But there 
still remains one feature of the Jugurthine War which calls for 
particular attention the career of Marius himself. In the con- 
cluding age of the Roman Republic Marius was regarded as their 
greatest hero by that section of the political world which passed 
under the name of populares^ and it was undoubtedly to glorify 
the patron of the cause for which the populares stood that Sallust 
wrote the Be Hum Jugunhinum. 

The populares are often loosely described in modern times as 
democrats, but this is both unjustified and misleading: indeed, it 
is the presence of a genuinely democratic element in their pro- 
grammes which makes it impossible to call the Gracchi populares 
in the ordinary sense of the term 1 . The great populares of Rome 
Marius, Cicero in his earlier days, Caesar and, to some extent, 
Augustus himself were as oligarchical as their Optimate oppo- 
nents, and the name populares describes at most an incidental 
feature of their activities, They were violent opponents of the class 

1 On the populares and their ideals see M. Gelzer, 'Die r6mische 
Gesellschaft aur Zeit Ciceros' in N.J. kL Alt*, XLV-VI, 1920, pp< 1-^27, 


which formed the vast majority in the Senate, and during their 
struggle with that most powerful institution they needed the help 
of every ally they could find. It was natural that they should turn 
for aid to the popular assemblies, whose value against senatorial 
obstruction had been demonstrated by the Gracchi: biit the alliance 
was one of convenience alone, which was far from implying the 
slightest devotion to the principle of democracy on the part of the 
so-called populares. Their quarrel was with the Senate, and it started 
during the second century B.C. when the Senate began to mismanage 
imperial affairs and to set its own desires above the interests of 
other classes at Rome and above those of the State as a whole. 

In general the pofulares stood for efficiency and public spirit in 
the direction of affairs; but in particular they were opposed to the 
Optimates on a narrower issue. Just as the patricians in the early 
days of the Republic had sought to deny the plebeians all access to 
the magistracies of the Roman People, so now the nobilltas a 
body of patricians and plebeians which had been consolidated into 
something like a close corporation since the Plebs had won its way 
to power during the fourth century claimed to do the same, 
Whether 'nobility* belonged to the descendants of all holders of 
curule office or only to those who could boast dictator, consul or 
tribunus militum consulari potestate among their ancestors 1 , it was 
the doctrine of the Optimates that nobles alone should be regarded 
as eligible for the consulship: any man born outside this ring who 
essayed to rise on his merits to the highest magistracy was a no^us 
homo,, exposed to all the obstruction and petty resentment which 
are the inevitable lot of the social upstart* This was the issue over 
which the fight waxed hottest. According to their enemies 1 
account, the nobiles^ *quibus omnia populi Romani beneficia 
dormientibus deferuntur 2 / were unworthy of the responsibilities 
reserved for them in virtue of their birth, and, what was more, they 
were violating the intentions of the Roman constitution : for, when 
the monarchy was abolished at the end of the sixth century, the 
People in their wisdom *ita magistrate* annuos crcaverunt ut 
consilium senatus rei publicae praeponerent sempiternum, deli- 
gerentur autem in id consilium ab universe populo aditusque in ilium 
summum ordinem omnium civium industriae ac virtuti pateret' 5 * 
^ Thus, though higher efficiency in government was the supreme 
aim of the populares^ one of their most insistent and controversial 
demands was for a carri&re ouverte aux talents. Candidates for office 

1 On this question see M. Gelzer, Die Nobilitat der romischen Repuhlik, 
pp. 2.1 sqq. * Cicero, ir in Perr* v y 70, 180. 

3 Cicero,, pro Sestio, 65, 1375 cf. Livy iv, 3, 13* 


should be sought from the citizen-body as a whole, and magis- 
tracies should be conferred on the ablest men that could be found, 
irrespective of their antecedents. The relevance of the Jugurthine 
War to a dispute such as this is too obvious to need discussion. So 
long as the command lay with men appointed on the principles for 
which the Optimates contended there had been corruption, in- 
competence and, even after the appointment of Metellus, no 
rapid march to victory. But when the People overrode the wishes 
of the Senate and put Marius, the novus homo, in charge, not only 
was the war in Africa soon brought to a triumphant end s but 
there was revealed to the world a general who led Rome safely 
through the far graver perils of the Germanic invasion. Such a 
version might assume a somewhat generous interpretation of the 
services rendered by Marius in Africa: but to the ignorant vulgar 
there is no commendation like success, and it could not be denied 
that after the appointment of Marius the war had made steady 
progress to its proper outcome. If Marius had not fulfilled his 
earlier promise by his defeat of the Cimbri and Teutoni, the moral 
to be drawn from his performances in Africa might have been less 
cogent; but, as things were,, the Jugurthine War seemed to give 
incontrovertible proof of the immense advantages to be gained 
by the judicious appointment of novi homines to the consulship, 


When Marius came home from Africa, Rome lay under the 
shadow of a menace from the North. For eight years now, Ger- 
manic wanderers had been searching without success for a new 
home in Europe outside the Roman frontier, and their continued 
failure made it ever more certain that in the end they would be 
driven to stake their future on a bolder throw. When other regions 
had been tried in vain, they would turn to the Roman provinces^ 
if not to Italy itself. The movement of these peoples is an event of 
oecumenical significance. Not only was it the occasion of Rome's 
first contact with the Germans, but, even though the later phases 
of the Celtic migration may be attributed in part to Germanic 
pressure, it was the first unmistakable warning of that great ex- 
pansion which in the end was to shake the whole fabric of the 
Roman Empire, to deprive it of its western half, and to establish 
Germanic powers in Britain, France, Italy, Spain and even Africa. 
The history of northern Europe during the emergence and the 
settlement of the Celts has already been recounted (vol. vii, 
chap. n), and the later fortunes of these peoples are so largely de- 
termined by their relations with Rome that they are best described 


in connection with Roman policy in the provinces. The story of 
the Germans down to the middle of the second century A,D. will be 
surveyed as a whole in a later volume, at the time when the Empire 
is about to face that insistent Teutonic advance which was not the 
least potent among the causes of its disraption. In the present 
place no more need be said about the early history of these tribes 
than is essential for the understanding of the threat with which 
Marius was called tapon to cope a threat which, ominous as it 
indubitably is when interpreted in the light of subsequent de- 
velopments, owed its meaning in the eyes of contemporaries, 
partly of course to the magnitude of the immediate danger and to 
the disasters which it involved, but in part as well to its effects on 
the course of politics in Rome. 

During the first half of the last millennium B.C. the Celts of 
north-western Germany were subjected to increasing pressure 
from tribes which may reasonably be called Germanic, and thus 
was started a movement which before the end of the sixth century 
had carried Celtic peoples across France and even into Spain, 
which brought others to Italy early in the fourth, and which 
finally, in the fourth and third centuries, produced that drift to- 
wards the south-east which left a Celtic deposit in the regions 
south of the middle Danube and even in Asia Minor (vol, vm, 
pp. 59 sqq.} The source of this thrust is to be seen in the lands which 
lie within a radius of about three hundred miles round a centre 
roughly marked by the site of Copenhagen. Here was the earliest 
known home of the Teutons, and from this breeding place there 
issued a succession of closely-related peoples, all seeking wider 
territories and all of a prowess in war which made their name a. terror 
to those who barred their progress. Forerunners of these invaders 
had already crossed the Rhine; for there is no reason to doubt 
the presence of a strong admixture of German blood in the Bclgic 
population now settled in north-eastern Gaul ; but it was not till 
the end of the second century that Gaul was attacked by Germans 
of pure extraction. These were the Cimbri and Teutoni, whose 
Germanic origin may be accepted with confidence in spite of 
modern speculations which would claim Celtic affinities for the 
latter, if not for the Cimbri as well. From their homes in the 
peninsula of Jutland and in the districts round its base the Cimbr! 
and their kinsmen 1 set out at some time about 1 20 B.C., having no 

* Though the migrants were perhaps reinforced at later stages by new 
arrivals from the North, it is probable that Teutoni, as well as Cnnbri, took 
part in the movement from the start See Ed. Meyer, *Tougcner und 
Teutonen' in Kleine Schriftm n, .especially p. 501, and, for a different view, 
F. Stahelin, Die Schwei* in romischer Zeit, ed, 2, pp. 45 sqq 


clear idea of their destination, but trekking in search of broader 
lands and of adventure by the way. According to a tradition 
accepted in the Graeco-Roman world they were set moving by 
a great encroachment of the sea 1 , but, though this need not be 
doubted, it is hard to accept it as the only cause. The Germans had 
already taken to settled agricultural life at least so far as to make 
their demand one for fertile lands, and even cities, in which to live, 
and it would not be rash to assume that the growth of population 
in Germany, accentuated perhaps by the advance of neighbours 
from the north and east, did something to impel the Cimbri and 
their brethren to seek a less congested territory and one where 
Nature was more benign. Though enough of the Cimbri stayed 
behind to keep their name alive in the region from which they 
started 2 , the movement came near to being the migration of a whole 
people. Women and children followed with the waggons which 
served as homes ; and it is not unlikely that, with the recruits who 
joined at later stages, at its greatest strength the host approached 
half a million souls. Any such estimate must remain conjecture; 
but there is no need to make drastic reductions of the recorded 
numbers in order to bring the fighting force of the invaders nearer 
to equality with the Roman armies by which it was finally defeated. 
The Germans laboured under a handicap which made them, man 
for man, no match for their opponents. Apart from their inferior 
discipline, they suffered from the lack of body-armour. With 
nothing but a shield for defence, the invaders were at the 
mercy of the well-protected legionaries, when once the legions 
were under intelligent command* 

At the outset they made towards the south, probably along 
the natural route provided by the Elbe, past Magdeburg and 
Dresden roughly in the direction of Vienna. In Bohemia they 
found no haven; for the Boii sped their passage by force. Their 
next appearance is south of the Danube in the neighbourhood of 
Belgrade. Here they were repulsed again this time by the 
Scordisci, and thence they turned westwards, moving perhaps up 
the valley of the Drave until they reached Carinthia. In Carinthia 
for the first time they were face to face with Rome. The friendship 
between Rome and the Taurisci established by the operations of 
Scaurus two years before (see above, p. 108) led the Roman 
government to concern itself with the protection of Tauriscan 
territory, and Cn. Carbo, consul of 1 13 B.C., was sent with a large 
army to resist the threatened invasion. The Cimbri were in no 
mood to court a new defeat: at the consul's order to retire they 

1 Strabo vii, 293; Festus, p. 15 L 

2 Res Gestae Dm. jiug. 26; Tacitus, Germ* 37, I. 


obeyed. But Carbo was out for glory. Fearing that his victims 
might escape, he hurriedly prepared for their destruction ; and when 
treachery had provoked the battle for which ambition sought, the 
incompetence of their general involved the Romans in a defeat 
which would have been annihilation but for the timely interven- 
tion of a thunderstorm. Such was the battle fought near Noreia, 
midway between Klagenfurt and Ljubljana. When he had returned 
to Rome, Carbo was prosecuted by the young orator Antonius; 
and, like his brother Gaius (p. 94), he died an unlamented death 
by poison. 

The ignominy of his end became him well: by conduct of the 
most culpable ineptitude he had thrown away an -army, and what 
was worse had given the migrant horde its first taste of victory. 
After Noreia the Germans proved less amenable to orders for their 
own departure. Yet even now, though the road to Italy was open, they 
turned away to the north-west instead, and for the next three years 
they were moving round the northern foot-hills of the Alps towards 
the sources of the Danube. At length, in in or no B.C., they 
crossed the Rhine, perhaps at a point not far below Schaffhuusen 3 , 
and thence they seem to have followed the natural route up the 
valley of the Aar to the Jura, and so to Gaul* In this part of their 
wanderings they were joined by numerous recruits, some of whom 
at least were of Celtic stock : in particular the records make men- 
tion of the Tigurini a section of the Helvetic people, and it is 
not impossible that at this stage there also arrived German rein- 
forcements from the North. Thus it was a host more formidable 
even than before which, when it entered Gaul, came once more 
within the ken of Rome, 

M. Junius Silanus, consul of 109 B.C., had been sent to Gaul to 
maintain the integrity of the province and to support the tribes in 
alliance with Rome 2 . To him the invaders presented their demand 
for land, and the demand was formally referred to the government 
at home. But it was not the moment to accommodate whole tribes 
of immigrants within the empire, and the German request was re- 
fused: Silanus, like Carbo, sought a battle: and somewhere in the 
valley of the Rhone, probably at a point beyond the frontier of the 
Roman province, his army was decisively defeated. The effects of 
this were grave. The invaders gained fresh confidence, and the 
prestige of Rome sank so low that the Celts themselves began to 
toy with thoughts of a revanche. While the Cimbri withdrew to 
the interior, their allies the Tigurini, possibly reinforced by other 

1 Veil. Pat. n, 8, 3, on which, however, see Stahelin, op* at, p. 46 sy. 

2 For the operations which follow see above* Map 4. 


Helvetic elements, hovered round the Roman frontier, and before 
long revolt broke out among the Volcae Tectosages, a people 
allied with Rome whose homes lay round Tolosa (Toulouse). 

To meet these dangers the Senate had another army in the field 
by 1 07 B.C. 3 under the command of the consul L. Cassius Longinus, 
who turned out to be as bad as his predecessors. He did, indeed,, 
drive the Tigurini from the neighbourhood of Tolosa; but an 
ill-judged pursuit down the valley of the Garonne ended in a great 
disaster 1 . Longinus himself and L. Piso the latter an ex-consul 
now serving as legatus and, as was afterwards remembered, an 
ancestor of Julius Caesar's third wife 2 were killed, and such 
remnants of the troops as reached the camp alive only escaped 
destruction because the senior surviving officer, C. Popillius 
Laenas, bought their lives by surrendering half the baggage and 
even agreeing that they should pass beneath the yoke. The credit 
for this victory belonged to a young chief of the Tigurini named 
Divico, who lived to encounter Julius Caesar. Yet even now the 
tale of Rome's misfortunes was not told. Longinus was followed by 
a consul of 106 B.C., Q. Servilius Caepio a man who, compared 
with his predecessors, might claim to be a general of experience : 
for, slender as his military gifts turned out to be, they had at least 
won him a triumph in the previous year for his achievements in Spain. 
At first the appointment seemed to justify itself; Caepio addressed 
himself to the easy task of dealing with the Volcae who, now that 
their Helvetian allies had withdrawn, were in no position to oppose 
the might of Rome. Tolosa was recovered without a struggle, and 
disloyalty was visited with a fitting punishment. The sacred places 
of the city contained an accumulated wealth of offerings whose 
origin became the theme of legend and whose value was set at 
figures of prodigious size: but even fifteen thousand talents of 
gold and silver, the estimate of Posidonius 3 , would have been a 
most welcome windfall to an exchequer drained by wars in Africa 
as well as Gaul. Caepio, therefore, seized the treasure; but on its 
way to Massilia for transport to Rome the convoy was attacked, 
the escort overpowered, and the precious objects vanished, none 
could tell whither. 

Afterwards men said that the robbery was a fake, arranged by 
Caepio to conceal his own embezzlement (see below, p. 1 59 -*y.)' At 
first, however, there were no suspicions, and the command of 
Caepio had been so far a success that he was continued in office as 

1 If the texts of Livy (JSpit. 65) and Orosius (v, 1 5, 23) are to be accepted, 
the battle was fought to the south-east of Bordeaux. 

2 Caesar, B.G. 1 3 12, 7, 3 In Strabo iv, 188. 


proconsul for 105 B.C. But now lie was not alone : a renewal of the 
CImbric threat brought Cn. Mallius Maximus on the scene, with 
a second army and the authority of a consul, Mallius was a novus 
homo,, but the experiment so triumphantly vindicated by Marius 
was less fortunate in its repetition. His arrival in Gaul meant that 
the control of the Roman forces was divided; and the jealousy of 
the two commanders made effective co-operation impossible. When 
the Germans marched southwards down the Rhone, Caepio re- 
mained on the western bank while Mallius was on the east, with 
an advance-guard to the north under M. Aurelius Scaurus. Scaurus 
sustained the first attack : he lost his whole force, and himself was 
captured. The military situation now grew clearer : since the enemy 
was inarching along the eastern bank, Caepio must cross the river 
and join Mallius before the fight began. Mallius issued orders to 
this effect, and with much reluctance Caepio obeyed; but, even so, 
he refused a proper junction and kept his troops in a separate camp 
so far from his colleague as to be almost out of touch. There fol- 
lowed a period of negotiations, first between the Romans and their 
enemy, who now renewed the old demand for land, and then be- 
tween the rival generals on the Roman side: but even the good 
offices of a deputation from the Senate failed to persuade Caepio 
and Mallius to sink their differences. Thus, when at length the 
battle broke, the invaders could destroy the two halves of the 
Roman force in detail. On 6 October 105 B.C. close by the town 
of Arausio (Orange) the barbarians fell first upon Caepio, and the 
two Roman armies were cut to pieces in succession* Retreat was 
impossible for they had chosen to fight with their backs to the 
river; and their losses in fighting men, apart from non-com- 
batants,, were reported to be eighty thousand. Though both the 
generals survived to present the Roman government with a 
thorny problem of military discipline (see below, pp. 158 spf.) the 
Gallic province and even Italy itself now lay open without 

The colleague of Mallius in the consulship of 105 BC* was 
P. Rutilius Rufus, a figure whose high repute in history was more 
than a mere tribute of sympathy with the injustice of his fate (see 
below, p, 175^,), When news of the disaster arrived, Rutilius acted 
with energy* He had perhaps already sought the aid of gladiatorial 
trainers to improve the legionaries' skill in fighting at close 
quarters 1 , and it is possible that he had also passed a measure 
whereby officers of tried efficiency might be more freely cho$en as 

1 Val. Max, n, 3* 2* 


fribuni militum^ though the evidence for this admits no certainty 1 . 
Now in the crisis he required men of the normal military age to 
swear that they would not leave Italy 5 and orders were sent to the 
ports that none under thirty-five should be permitted to embark 2 . 
But the few weeks of power which remained left him time for none 
but the roughest preparations^ and the situation he bequeathed to 
his successors was still acute. On New Year's Day 104 B.C. Marius, 
already elected in absence to his second consulship, celebrated his 
return to office by the triumph which marked the end of Rome's 
African distractions. Serious as had been the strain imposed by 
the Jugurthine War on the sources of recruitment, its most ominous 
result was the revelation of Rome's poverty in competent com- 
manders. So rare had able generalship become, that Rome, it 
seemed, could not fight with success on two fronts at once: but 
now at length Marius was released and it was the turn of the 
northern campaign to engage the attention of the one proved 
artificer of victory. 

Fortune gave Marius time to make his preparations. After the 
defeat of Caepio and Mallius the invaders had refused once more 
to follow up their success with an advance on Italy. Instead, the 
Cimbri made off to Spain while the Teutoni roved about in Gaul, 
and it was probably not before the end of 103 B.C. that the Cimbri 
returned from the West and joined their brethren for a concerted 
thrust across the Alps. The army under Marius was not of 
enormous size: at the battle of Vercellae in 101 B.C. he had thirty- 
two thousand men 3 , and it is unlikely that many more than this 
had been at his disposal in Gaul. But, as always when Marius was 
in command, lack of numbers was made good by high efficiency. 
From the moment of his departure from Rome, with the help 
of an active staff, which included men like Sulla and Quintus 
Sertorius, the general made it his foremost care to raise his troops 
to the standards attained by the veterans from Africa. The material, 
indeed, was of varied value. Among the auxiliaries, useful as these 
had shown themselves in guerrilla warfare, were contingents 
strange to the discipline needed in a general engagement: but the 
legionaries themselves were of the proper stuff and responded in 
time to persistent training. All through the summer of 104 B.C. 
the troops were kept within the province, engaged in nothing 

1 On the *Rufuli,* whose name is not to be connected with Rutilius, see 
Festus, pp. 3167 ir., and on the date and author of this reform E. Pais, 
Dalle guerre puniche a Cesar e jfugusto, i, pp. 84 sqq., with the literature there 
cited, 2 Licinianus, p. 14 F. 

3 Plutarch, Marius, 25, 4. 
C.A.H. ix 10 


more than the assertion of Rome's authority. ^The last traces of 
rebellion were stamped out: Sulla repeated his African success 
by capturing a king of the Tectosages : and Marius turned his 
thoughts to still further technical improvements in the army. 

It was either now or soon afterwards that he modified the 
filum\ and to this period of his career may belong that improve- 
ment in the legionary equipment of which he was probably the 
author. These innovations revealed him as a soldier of ideas; but 
the claim that he was responsible for a far more radical change 
must be rejected. Though it may be admitted that the light-armed 
velites^ first found in 2 1 1 B.c, 2 , are not recorded after the Jugur- 
thine War and that Marius was the cause of their disappearance 8 , 
there is no good evidence for the widespread belief that at a stroke 
he made the cohort the tactical unit for legionary troops. In earlier 
days the maniple had doubtless been the basic formation for 
Roman infantry, but the cohort a group of three maniples had 
evidently been growing in favour for many years before this time 4 . 
Again, though the cohort had long been a regular formation among 
the Italian allies of Rome, it is difficult to believe that all the re- 
ferences made to such bodies by Livy 5 are meant to concern allied 
contingents alone* It is, indeed, a bare possibility that passages 
of this kind, though describing Roman troops, are anachronisms ; 
but the assumption is one which has little probability if the change 
from an organization by maniples to one by cohorts was the work 
of any single individual an individual whose identity could 
scarcely have failed to be remembered. Still stronger testimony is 
supplied by Sallust. As early as 109 B,C, when Marius was still 
a subordinate, he clearly recognizes the cohort as a tactical unit in 
the legion 6 ; and this he is hardly likely to have done had the cohort 
been put in the place of the maniple by a sudden change whose 
author was his chosen hero. 

The indications of the evidence are plain. From some time in 
the third century the maniple had been proving too small a unit 
for tactical convenience, and it had grown more and more common 

* Plutarch (Marius, 25, 1-2) ascribes this change to 101 B.C., but a 
slightly earlier date is more probable, a Livy xxvi, 4* 45. 

s On this see Fcstus, p. 2741,., and A. Schulten, *Zur Hecresreform 
des Marius* in Hermes 9 JLXIII, 1928, p. 240. 

4 The reference in Frontinus, Strat. x, 6, i, to the use of cohorts by 
Cn, Fulvius (cos. 298 B.C.) may well be anachronistic j but the appearance of 
cohorts in Spain in the last decade of the third century is securely attested 
by Polybius xi, 23, I. 5 See e.g. xxn 5,7. 

6 BelL Jug. 51, 3 5 56, 3-4; c 55, 4 and zoo, 4, The last of these pas- 
sages alone falls during the period of Marius' command. 


to group the maniples in cohorts. This process was completed 
during the later life of Marius, and in the subsequent wars of the 
revolutionary age maniples no longer play an independent part. 
When this stage was reached, a consequential change became in- 
evitable. The abandonment of the maniple as a separable unit 
made it pointless to retain the old distinctions of age and armament 
between the maniples of hastati^ principes and triarii. These were 
accordingly dropped, very possibly by Marius himself. All legion- 
aries were now armed alike, with the -pilum as the one missile 
weapon and the sword for fighting at close quarters. By this 
assimilation the cohorts were still further consolidated. They were 
now the standard units of manoeuvre, and with them was built up 
a fighting line of a solidity unknown before, wherein, thanks to the 
discipline of highly trained troops under the immediate control of 
competent centurions, the increased size of the component parts 
involved no serious loss of flexibility. Such was the final phase of 
a development which ended by giving Rome an infantry whose 
efficiency was never surpassed in the history of the ancient world. 

When autumn came without the appearance of the foe, Marius 
was elected, again in absence, to the consulship for the following 
year. But still there was no enemy, and 103 B.C. had to be passed 
in waiting. To occupy his men in something more profitable than 
the monotonies of drill, Marius designed a canal which should do 
for the Rhone what the Emperor Claudius did later for the Tiber, 
To escape the silt which made access to the river difficult by its 
natural estuary, an artificial channel was dug from a point on the 
coast just south of the modern Fos to the main stream above the 
bar, and thus an open waterway was left which avoided the old 
obstacles to shipping. The fossa Mariana was a memorable achieve- 
ment : in the hands of the Massiliotes, to whom it was made over 
after the war, it produced a lucrative revenue in dues 1 , and it laid 
the foundations for the commercial development of Arelate (Aries), 
Again, apart from its value to Massilia and to all traders whose 
business was with Gaul, it was a forerunner of those public works 
which the standing army of later Roman history was to leave as its 
monuments throughout the Empire. 

Towards the end of 103 B.C., when it was certain that the im- 
pending struggle must be delayed yet another year, Marius left 
his troops under the command of M\ Aquilius, and went back to 
Rome, where, with the help of the tribune Saturninus, he was 
elected consul for the fourth time. While he was still in Italy, news 
arrived that the Cimbri were returning from the west, a return 

1 See Strabo iv, 183. 


which meant that the decisive clash would come with Marius still 
in control. Soon he was back in Gaul; but the greatest crisis of his 
military career was suddenly made less critical by a new decision 
of the enemy. For the moment the whole horde was united some- 
where in northern France 1 ; but after some conflicts with the 
Belgae, who contrived to hold their own 2 , they left their super- 
fluous belongings under a guard of 6000 men in the valley of the 
Meuse 3 and embarked on a manoeuvre of amazing rashness and 
stupendous scale. Italy was to be attacked on three fronts at once. 
The Teuton! were to advance along the coast road from the west; 
the Cimbri were to descend on Lombardy from the Brenner; and 
to the Tigurini fell the still harder task of making their way to 
Pannonia and striking at Aquileia over the Julian Alps. 

Vast as their numbers might be, by adopting such strategy 
as this the barbarians played straight into the hands of Rome* 
Marius and his lieutenants were allowed to operate on interior 
lines against three independent forces which, though united they 
might have been of overwhelming strength, individually were by 
no means invincible. The Roman army was holding a camp on the 
east bank of the Rhone, probably near the crossing below the con- 
fluence of the Durance 4 , and here the Teutoni sought to provoke 
a battle. Marius refused, and when a direct assault on his position 
had failed to bring out his troops, the enemy decided to leave 
him where he was and start on the way to Italy, At the head of the 
column went the Ambrones, a people who had apparently shared 
in the fortunes of the migration from the beginning and were 
either part of the Teutoni or their kinsmen in close relation* Once 
the whole mass was strung out in the long line of march, Marius 
broke camp without delay, and by other routes reached Aquae 
Sextiae before any but the Ambrones had arrived. Thus the upper 
valley of the Arc was blocked, and the barbarians must either 
fight or retire. The Germans now made a new mistake* Without 
waiting for their main body to come up, the Ambrones crossed the 
river and attacked the Romans in the position of their own 

1 The locality depends on the reading adopted in the last sentence of 
Livy, Eplt. 67. * Caesar, E.G. n, 4, 2. 

8 This body was the nucleus of the tribe known to later times as the 
AtuatucI:^ Caesar, BG. n, 29, 4-5, 

4 Orosius (v, 1 6, 9), our only explicit authority,, places this camp north 
of Valence, at the point where the Is&re joins the Rhone. But this site is in 
conflict both with the suggestion of Plutarch (Marius, 15, 1-2) and also with 
general considerations of probability, which point to a site much farther to 
the south. See M. Clerc, La latattte d*Jix, pp. 65 sqq 


choosing on the slopes to the south. Thirty thousand men ad- 
vanced to the assault, but they were thrown back across the river 
and none but a remnant survived to join the main force in the final 
battle. The interval which followed was brief, but it gave Marius 
time to send a body of three thousand men to circumvent the 
enemy and conceal itself on the heights in his rear. Then on the 
next day or, at latest, two days after the first engagement, the 
Romans offered battle again 1 . The fight was long and stubborn; 
but superior equipment, sounder discipline, the advantage of 
position and the confusion caused among the enemy by the un- 
expected attack of the three thousand from behind finally gave 
Marius a victory decisive beyond hope. Not only was Italy freed 
from all fear of invasion from the west, but the enemy was 
annihilated and the turmoil in Gaul was at an end. Killed and 
captured are put by the lowest estimate at more than a hundred 

Little remained to do in Gaul. The prestige of Rome was re- 
stored, and Marius, now designated to his fifth consulship, could 
turn to the problems of the future. These lay in Italy, where 
amateur generalship had lived down to its traditions. When the 
barbarians unfolded their design for a triple thrust across the Alps, 
Marius in Gaul had been compelled to leave the defence of Italy 
to his colleague in the consulship of 102 B.C. Q. Lutatius Catulus. 
Catulus was a man more noted for his culture than for knowledge 
of the art of war. He had the opportunities which Napoleon knew 
how to use ; but the brilliance which shone at Castiglione, Bassano, 
Arcola and Rivoli was not his to show. When the Cimbri were 
found to be moving southwards from the Brenner, Catulus, in- 
stead of waiting to destroy them as they debouched on to open 
ground, advanced up the Adige far into the hills. There he chose 
a position, probably in the neighbourhood of Trento, and essayed 
to block the way. But the choice was foolish : in the narrow valley 
there was no room for manoeuvre, nor even for the legions to de- 
ploy. In place of a battle wherein discipline and training might 
have told, the Romans were threatened with a hand-to-hand 
struggle round a bridge a struggle of the sort in which skill goes 
for nothing and attrition leaves victory with the larger numbers. 
From this miniature Thermopylae Catulus was ejected by the 
good-sense or cowardice of his troops. For whatever reason, the 
men refused duty in such circumstances : with difficulty the army 

1 On the site of this second battle, which has been made the subject of 
many theories, the present writer accepts the view of C. Jullian: see id. 
Histoire de la Gauh* m 2 , p. 82, n. 3 and the literature there mentioned. 


was disengaged: and from Trento It retired south of the Po y 
leaving the invaders in undisputed possession of all Transpudane 
Gaul which they might care to occupy. 

The authorities are at variance on the date of these events, but 
it is clear that the barbarians had entered Italy by the early winter 
of 102 B.C., if not before. When news of their advance reached 
Rome, Marius, who had returned to the city at the end of his 
campaign in Gaul, postponed the holding of his triumph, ordered 
his army to Piedmont and himself set out for the North, For the 
campaign of 101 B.C, he and Catulus, whose imperium had been 
prorogued, between them could muster more than fifty thousand 
men, and with this force they crossed the Po to seek a decision on 
the northern bank. The preliminaries seem to have been long : it 
was not till after midsummer that the two armies found themselves 
face to face near Vercellae, There, at a place called Campi Raudii, 
the carnage of Aquae Sextiae was renewed* According to Floras 1 ) 
the Cimbri lost sixty-five thousand dead ? though others put the 
number more than twice as high; and allyho survived were cap- 
tured. The victory was conclusive: the Tigurini, who now alone 
remained, did not wait to share their allies' fate, but left their 
station in the eastern Alps and returned peaceably to their homes 
in Switzerland. Next year a colony to watch the St Bernard routes 
was planted at Eporedia among the Salassi 2 , whose gold-bearing 
territory had already attracted Roman notice. So Rome emerged, 
battered but supreme, from the earliest of her conflicts with the 

When Marius and Catulus began to wrangle over the laurels 
of Vercellae, their dispute was on a minor issue. Though they 
triumphed together in 101 B.C., men had no doubt with which the 
credit lay. It was Marius who had saved the State and was hailed, 
after Romulus and Camillus, as the third founder of Rome. But 
his glory was not earned in the final battle* Whatever he may have 
contributed to the last campaign, his supreme service had been 
rendered the year before, when, with Rome fighting on two fronts 
at once, he had destroyed the enemy in Gaul single-handed and so 
enabled both Roman armies to be concentrated against the in- 
vaders across the Alps* Aquae Sextiae, like Salamis^ was the crisis 
of the war : Vercellae was a sequel, like Plataea, Yet the Germanic 
movement of those years cannot be compared in significance with 
the Persian attack on Greece. The Gallic raid in the fourth century 
and the devastation wrought by Hannibal had left Italy with a 
dread of invasion which magnified every menace,, and in this case 
* r, 38 (m, 3), 14, a Veil Pat. i, 15, 5. 


the dangers of the German threat were made the more alarming 
by disasters due to military incompetence. But, for all their num- 
bers, the Germans were doomed as soon as Roman generalship 
became worthy of its past. Though they had worked their will 
among the Celts of Gaul, a people who had been driven off the 
Danube, who were helpless before the Belgic tribes in the north- 
west and who failed to gain a footing across the Pyrenees, were no 
match for the power which had destroyed Carthage and imposed 
its terms on Antlochus the Great. The migration was one which 
only energetic opposition could stop, and it came at a time when 
Rome's energies were in large part absorbed elsewhere; but the 
loss of five Roman armies, which alone gave its alarming aspect to 
the affair, was needless flattery of the foe. The episode of the 
Cimbri and Teutoni is entitled to remembrance, not for any peril 
to the Roman State, but for the heights of influence to which 
Marius, a mere soldier, was raised, for the lesson which Rome 
learnt about the value of control beyond the Alps if the Alps them- 
selves were to be inviolate, and for Rome's first contact with 
Germans, a people who in later centuries were to bulk large in 
Roman history. 


There remain for notice three episodes, of varied importance, 
which attracted attention to the islands of the western Mediter- 
ranean at different times during the last thirty years of the second 
century B.C. First comes Sardinia. In 12,6 B.C. the restless peace 
which had prevailed in that turbulent country since the triumph 
of the elder Tiberius Gracchus, forty-nine years before (vol. vm, 
p. 331), was so far broken that the consul L. Aurelius Orestes 
sailed with an expedition only notable for the presence of the 
young Gaius Gracchus as the consul's quaestor. It was he who 
induced the people of the cities voluntarily to provide clothing for 
the army when the Senate had allowed their appeal against a com- 
pulsory requisition, and it was regard for the name of Gracchus 
which is said to have moved the Numidian Micipsa to offer sup- 
plies of corn. But, though the Senate is alleged to have prorogued 
the command of Orestes in order that his quaestor might have to 
stay in Sardinia too, Gaius was back in Rome., well satisfied with 
his own behaviour 1 , before the end of 125 B.C.; and about the 

1 Sec Malcovati, Or at* Rom. Frag* n 3 pp. 1 32 sqq. 


course of the campaign after his departure our ignorance is com- 
plete. At most we can say that it was long, and not without suc- 
cess; for Orestes finally triumphed, though not until December 
122 B.C. 

Even less is known of the operations conducted by M. Metellus 
one of the sons of Metellus Macedonicus who was sent to 
Sardinia after his consulship in 11$ B.C. and celebrated a triumph 
on 15 July ill B.C. an occasion made famous by the fact that 
his brother Gaius triumphed on the same day for his services in 
Thrace, For the rest, nothing is recorded of the achievements of 
Marcus in Sardinia except the fact, revealed by a document of 
A.D. 69*, that he was the author of administrative arrangements 
which involved the demarcation of some boundaries. There the 
affairs of the island may be left; for the campaign of the Epicurean 
T. Albucius is memorable for nothing but his insolent celebration 
of a triumph on his own authority in Sardinia itself 2 . 

Of greater significance than these trivial incidents was the occu- 
pation of the Balearic Islands. Roman intervention in this quarter 
was provoked by the activities of pirate fleets, which used, the 
islands as a base, even if they were not wholly manned by the local 
population; and it must be assumed that the first object of the war 
was to free the sea routes which ran to Spain. But the islands 
themselves were by no means to be despised : apart from the 
military value of the native slingers, the soil was good and, subse- 
quently became famous for its production of corn and wine. The 
operations were entrusted to one of the consuls of 123 n*e, 
Q. Metellus, the eldest brother of Marcus and Gams- but their 
conduct seems to have called for no great skill. The fleet was pro- 
tected from the sling-bullets of the enemy by special screens rigged 
up on deck, and after a landing had been made the occupation of 
the country was so speedy and complete that almost at once it be- 
came possible to found two colonies of Roman citizens in Majorca, 
These colonies, Palma and Pollentia, deserve notice, not only 
because their origin was due to a man who, so far as we can say, 
belonged to the senatorial oligarchy, but also because their object 
was something other than the relief of over-population in Italy* 
Three thousand of the settlers, certainly a considerable fraction of 
the whole, were drawn from the Roman (or Italian) population of 
Spain 3 . That^fact is noteworthy. Roman policy may, indeed, have 
been determined by the military value of the island population; 
but it is also possible that some effect should be ascribed to those 

* Dessau 5947, 1. 7. * Cicero, de pro*u. cons. 7, 15; in. Pis, 38, 92. 
3 Strabo in, 168. 


commercial considerations which now begin to be discernible and 
which, in later times at least, carried peculiar weight with the 
Italian emigrants who made their homes in Spain. "Whatever may 
have been the motive of the expedition, its importance was enough 
to earn the surname * Balearicus ' for its leader and to win him the 
honour of a triumph in 121 B.C. 

The final episode in the military history of these years has 
Sicily for its scene 1 . In 104 B.C. there broke out the insurrection 
which passes as the Second Servile War; but, unlike its prede- 
cessor, this later affair holds a place in the story of Rome thanks 
rather to an accident of its circumstances than to any intrinsic in- 
terest of its own. Such warnings as a rising of this kind could give 
about the dangers latent in a society using slave-gangs to supply 
its labour had been given already by F,unus and Achaeus : the 
movement led by Salvius and Athenion is remembered because, 
when Rome had at length shaken herself free of entanglements in 
Africa, it provided a new and unexpected embarrassment during 
the crisis of the struggle with the Germanic invaders. 

Though there may have been a tendency since the end of the 
First Slave War for small holdings in Sicily to extend at the ex- 
pense of large (p. 16), the general conditions of the island had 
escaped all fundamental change, and in essence the later outbreak 
is not to be distinguished from the earlier. As on the former 
occasion, the explosion in Sicily was heralded by rumblings in 
Italy itself. There was an outbreak at Nuceria, another at Capua, 
and then a third in the neighbourhood of Capua again this last 
a most extraordinary affair. Probably in 104 B.C., a Roman knight 
named T, Vettius, whose amatory propensities had plunged him 
into hopeless debt, bought five hundred suits of armour on 
credit, equipped his own slaves for war, and soon, by forcibly en- 
listing the servile population of the district, foundi himself at the 
head of an army of 3500 men. Against this enterprising bankrupt 
the Senate was compelled to send a praetor, L. Lucullus a man 
best remembered as the father of two more famous sons. Despite 
the demands of the northern front, a force of four thousand odd 
was somehow raised, and Lucullus, not without vicissitudes and 
recourse to treachery, finally captured the adventurer, 

When this could happen within two hundred miles of Rome, 
far worse was possible in the remoter parts of Sicily. It was 
about now that the difficulties which Marius had encountered in 
securing contingents from the client kings led the Senate to issue 

1 The fragments of Diodorus xxxvi are our only serious authority for the 
history of the Second Sicilian Slave War. See above, Map I, 


a decree ordering the immediate release of all citizens of allied 
States held as slaves in the provinces of the empire. When, how- 
ever, this enactment came to be applied to Sicily in 104 B.C., it 
caused so much excitement among the local slaves and such re- 
sentment among their owners that the governor^ P. Licinius 
Nerva, desisted from the work of liberation after about eight 
hundred had been freed. The immediate result was a small out- 
break at Halicyae, a township of western Sicily between Segesta 
and Selinus. By the familiar use of treachery this was soon put 
down, but it was followed at once by a more serious rising which 
had its centre on the south coast, in the territory of Heraclea Minoa. 
-After the defeat of a Roman contingent the rebels soon mustered 
6000 men, and organized themselves into a regular army, A 
certain Salvius, who took the title 'King,' was chosen as their 
leader, and before long, with a force of 2000 cavalry and 2o ? ooo 
foot, he marched into the fertile regions of the east, where he 
essayed an attack on the city of Murgantia, An attempt by Ncrva 
to raise the siege ended in a failure whose only result was to double 
the numbers of the enemy. The siege was resumed, and though 
Murgantia was preserved intact, it seems that, when the enemy 
withdrew, his strength was still further increased by the folly of 
Nerva in rescinding an offer of freedom whereby the citizens had 
sought to retain the loyalty of the slaves within the walk* When 
the promise was not fulfilled, they went off to join the rebels, 

In the same year an independent movement was started in the 
far west of the island, where a Cilician named Athenion collected 
a large following and used it with intelligence. Instead of arming 
all his men, he enlisted none but the most fit and kept the rest at 
their ordinary occupations in order to provide supplies. Then, 
with his striking force, he attacked Lilybaeum. The siege did not 
prosper, and Athenion thought it prudent to withdraw; but though 
he lost a certain number of men during the retreat when some 
African troops, who had come to help their friends in Oybaeum, 
fell upon his force, the rebels disengaged themselves without 
serious damage and remained a threat of the first magnitude to the 
established social order. By this time all Sicily was in a ferment* 
The slaves were soon reinforced by discontented elements from 
the free population, and the danger was made many times greater 
by a junction of the forces under Salvius, who now called him- 
self King Tryphon, and Athenion, They met at Triocala north 
of Heraclea, and made it their headquarters : shortly afterwards 
Tryphon ensured unity of command by putting Athenion under 
temporary arrest. 


So far the Roman resistance seems to have been maintained by 
the small forces normally in the island, together with such emer- 
gency levies as could be raised : henceforward it was to draw more 
and more freely on the resources of the empire as a whole. In 
103 B.C. Nerva was succeeded by L Lucullus, whose operations 
at Capua the year before have been mentioned already; and 
Lucullus was given an army of 17,000 men, which included re- 
cruits from Acarnania, Thessaly and even Bithynia. His advance 
provoked a council of war at Triocala, where it was decided on the 
advice of Athenion, now released from custody, not to invite 
a siege but to offer battle in the open country. The slaves out- 
numbered the Romans by more than two to one : but training told 
in the end. Athenion was wounded and only escaped capture by 
feigning death; the rebel losses amounted to something like half 
their whole force ; and the survivors who finally found safety be- 
hind the walls of Triocala were so utterly demoralized that they 
seriously contemplated surrender forthwith. But Lucullus failed 
to follow up his advantage : it was not till more than a week later 
that he appeared before the city, and by that time the garrison had 
plucked up courage enough to beat off his assaults* Finally 
Lucullus withdrew, and on his return to Rome he found himself 
in trouble. It is hard to believe that he had accepted bribes, but 
there is no lack of reason for his fall if Diodorus tells the truth 
when he says that Lucullus, hearing that a successor was on his 
way to take over the command, disbanded his army in a fit of 
pique and even destroyed his camp. Whatever the state of affairs 
which awaited him, the new governor achieved nothing in 102 B.C., 
and in the following year, when he was back in Rome, he tried 
to divert attention from his own defects by displaying those of 
his predecessor 1 . After much dirty lineti had been washed in 
public, a rough justice was finally done by the exile of both 
parties to the squabble. 

The year 101 B.C. brought the long-sought turn of fortune. The 
victory of Aquae Sextiae had so far dispelled the German menace 
that M\ Aquilius, now colleague of Marius in the consulship, 
could be sent to take charge of Sicily in person. Aquilius was a 
soldier of experience in whom Marius had already shown his con- 
fidence by leaving him in command of the army in Gaul when he 
returned to Rome in the summer of 103 B.C. 2 ; and in Sicily he 
displayed unbounded energy. First he tackled the urgent problem 
of the food supply. Since the withdrawal of Lucullus from Triocala, 

1 On this see F. Mtiiwser in P.W. r.v. Servilius, col. 17631^ aitd 
Licmius, col. 375 sq+ 2 Plutarch, Marius, 14, 7. . 


the slaves had played such havoc with the economic life of the 
country that an island which normally was one of the granaries of 
the Roman world now stood in danger of starvation. Next he 
opened his campaign. The rebels were defeated in a battle, 
Athenion whom the death of Tryphon had left in sole command 
was killed., and the fugitives were pursued with relentless 
determination until they were either captured outright or starved 
into surrender. The prisoners were later sent to Rome, where they 
died gloriously at the hands of one another rather than fight with 
beasts to amuse the Roman mob. 

Aquilius did not receive his ovatio until 99 B.C.; until then he 
seems to have stayed in Sicily, restoring peace on so firm a founda- 
tion that neither the rising of Spartacus in southern Italy nor the 
outrages of Verres affected the tranquillity of the island. It is true 
that his administration was subsequently arraigned, and the belief 
in his avarice seems to have been shared by Mithridates, who 
ended his career in 88 B.C. by pouring molten gold down his 
throat. Cicero, too, had no doubt of his guilt 1 ; but thanks to the 
influence of Marius and to a most memorable piece of oratory by 
M. AntoniuSj who led for the defence 2 , gratitude got the better of 
justice and the trial ended in acquittal. Aquilius had, indeed, de- 
served well of the State. Under his auspices the Roman cause had 
not looked back, and Rome had rapidly been rid of an affair which, 
serious as it was, might easily have spread beyond the boundaries 
of Sicily 3 and so have become an even graver embarrassment to 
a government whose task on the northern frontier, at the time 
when Aquilius took charge, was still so vast as to demand its 
undivided attention and a concentration of all the resources nt its 

Thus ended a period of Roman history wherein the prevailing 
theme was one of war. Territorially the gains of Rome were small, 
In Asia the fighting had only preserved what had already become 
Roman by bequest; in Sicily nothing more was done than to re- 
store order in the oldest of the provinces; and in Africa there was 
no tangible result to show for six years' fighting. In the North, it 
is true, the frontier had been straightened out and Gallia Nar- 
bonensis was an acquisition of immeasurable worth : but even here 

1 pro FlaccQ) 39, 98. 

2 Cicero, n in Verr, v, I, 3; de or at. n, 47, 195-6. 

3 Posidonius (F.H.G. frag. 35 F.G.H. frag. 35) records trouble at this 
time in the mines of Attica, but his words, as reported by Athenacus (vi, 
p. 272, B-F), do not suggest that it was directly provoked by the Sicilian 



the supreme effort had been spent on the unremunerative task of 
defence against invasion. Yet, though the positive rewards com- 
pared so ill with the energy expended, the warfare of the age left 
a legacy of deep significance in the history of Rome. This was the 
professional army the army which not only made possible the 
more impressive military achievements of later years but itself 
became an active force in politics, and one whose contribution to 
the downfall of the Republic was decisive. 




IN the years which lie between the close of the Gracchan episode 
and the outbreak of the Social War the domestic history of 
Rome is a melancholy and unremunerative study. The period was 
one of depression, when flaws in the fabric of the State were made 
uncomfortably plain yet nothing worth the mention was done for 
their repair. Attention may be confined to four features of the age 
the search for means to impose a sense of responsibility on 
commanders in the field; the revelation by Glaucia and Ssiturninus 
of the dangers which would arise when the constitutions* 1 methods 
of the Gracchi found followers without scruples or ideals; the 
entry into politics of Marius the first Roman who made military 
prowess a claim to direct the civil government and the curliest 
precursor of the soldier-emperors of the third century A.D,; and 5 
finally, the preliminaries to the upheaval which ended with the 
enfranchisement of the Italians. These are the significant aspects 
of the story: the ups and downs of fortune in the petty struggle 
between the Senate and its rivals are incidents for which the 
briefest notice will suffice. 

The scandals of the wars in Africa and the North presented a 
problem unknown before. The dearth of competent commanders 
and the low standard of morality which now pervaded public life 
had produced a whole series of generals who must at all costs he 
taught a lesson four encourager les autres. Men in high places must 
learn the simple truth that the privilege of office involved obliga- 
tions to the State. A beginning had been made by the Mamilian 
commission (p. 121)., which was at least a reminder that corruption 
could not be tolerated ; but the energy of that court had failed to 
impress on those whom it most concerned the further fact that 
wilful gambling with the interests of Rome, whether through 
personal ambition or indolent neglect of the most obvious pre- 
cautions, was culpable to a degree deserving punishment, Carbo, 
the victim of Noreia, had forestalled by death any formal pro- 
nouncement on his conduct; but his successors in misfortune 
Silanus, Caepio and Mallius awaited a condemnation which. 


however richly merited, was not easy to secure. The charge hitherto 
preferred against citizens who had acted to the detriment of the 
State was perduellio an offence which in course of time had been 
given the widest interpretation : before the end of the third century 
this process had been employed against Cn. Fulvius Flaccus though 
whether for failure in war is not clear. 1 To the use of this weapon, 
however, there were grave objections. Not only did it involve a 
clumsy procedure before the Centuries, but the charge itself was one 
of doubtful relevance to the crime* Perduellio properly understood 
was either actual warfare against the State or at least action of a 
kind which suggested that the agent was a Jiosti$^\ and it was easy 
to argue that negligence or imprudence, however gross, fell short 
of being a premeditated attack on the Roman People. The un- 
suitability of such a prosecution was made peculiarly plain by the 
minor case to which it was applied. In 106 B.C. C. Popillius 
Laenas, the legatus of Cassius Longinus who by the acceptance of 
humiliating terms had rescued the remnants of his army from the 
Tigurini, was solemnly arraigned for perduellio. The attack was 
led by C. Caelius Caldus, now tribune, and elaborate plans were 
laid for its success: Caelius even went so far as to pass a lex 
tabellaria extending the ballot to the voting of the Centuries in such 
a case 3 . Even so, it is difficult to see how on such a charge any 
honest court could have convicted a man for saving such survivors 
as he was able. The exile into which Popillius was finally driven 
was probably the result of a later trial under the new treason-law 
of Saturninus 4 . 

The battle of Arausio raised graver problems. Caepio and 
Mallius had been guilty of a reckless refusal to co-operate, and the 
crime of Caepio was aggravated both by the unpopularity of his lex 
iudiciaria (p. 1 6 1 sq^ and by the strong suspicion of dishonesty in 
the matter of the bullion from Tolosa (p. 143). Public opinion 
soon found expression. First he was deprived of his proconsular 
imperium by popular vote 6 , and then in 104 B.C. he lost his seat in 
the Senate when L. Cassius Longinus, a son of the iudex in the 
scandal of the Vestals (p. 97), passed a tribunician law expelling 
from the House all members who had been condemned by the 
People on a criminal charge or whose imperium had been abro- 
gated 6 . The leader in the attack on Caepio had been another tribune, 

1 Livy xxvi, 2, 7 sqq*> c De Sanctis, Storia dei Rom. in, 2, p. 460 n, 

2 See Dig. 50, 1 6, 234 (Gaius) and 48, 4, n (Ulpian). 

a Cicero, de legibus, HI, 16, 36. 4 ad Herennium* I, 15, 25, 

5 Livy, Epit. 675 Cicero, de orat. n, 47, 197 sqq. 

6 Asconius, p. 78 c. 


C. NorbaniiSj and his success had only been won after a struggle 
so severe that rioting broke out. Other tribunes > among whom 
L. Cotta and T, Didius are mentioned, threatened to use their 
veto, and in the street-fighting which followed the Princeps Senatus 
had his head broken by a stone. But opposition only made Nor- 
banus and his friends the more determined. Not content with such 
achievements, they insisted that Caepio must be tried; but the 
elaborate plans now laid for compassing his fate belong to the 
following year* Before they are described, two other trials of 
104 B.C. need notice. One of the tribunes now in office was Cn, 
Domitius Ahenobarbus, whose father's exploits against the AIlo- 
broges (p. 1 1 1 $q.} doubtless gave the son a special interest in the 
affairs of Gaul. For this reason, and for others of a more private 
kind, Domitius now attacked Silanus, the victim of the Germans 
in 109 B.C. The charge is unknown, though the ground of complaint 
was that Silanus had marched without instructions beyond the 
borders of the province 1 : but in this case, as in his prosecution of 
M. Aemilius Scaurus for neglecting his duties as augur, Domitius 
miserably failed and both his Intended victims were triumphantly 

On 10 December 104 B.C. new tribunes entered office and 
among them L. Appuleius Saturn inus, for whom was reserved 
the final settlement of accounts with Caepio. On the sequence of 
events which follows and on many of the essential details the ex- 
tant evidence is so vague that no account can claim more than 
probability; but it is clear that Saturninus, adopting the method 
of Mamilius, secured the establishment of a court to try the 
remaining villains of the Gallic piece* Both Caepio and Mallius 
were condemned, though the latter was defended by M. Antonius : 
Mallius* fate is not recorded, but Caepio lost his property by con- 
fiscation 2 and finally died in exile at Smyrna, 

It remains to consider a more permanent result which may 
possibly be ascribed to this series of prosecutions* Though the 
evidence fails to support Mommsen's conjecture that the measure 
which ordered inquiry into the scandal of Tolosa was the famous 
LexAppuleiademaiestate 3 , and though he was perhaps rash to deny 
that this law established a new standing court 4 , there is plausibility 

1 Asconius, p. 80 c, 

2 The statement of Livy, Epit. 67, on this point is probably misplaced: 
see F. Vender Mtthll, De L. jippuleio Saturnine tribune pl#bi$ y p. 73, n. 3. 

3 Th. Mommsen, History of Rome., vol. in, p. 441 n.$ c L* Lange, 
Romische Alterthumer,, vol. in 2 , pp. 70 and 82. 

4 If H. Stuart Jones is right in regarding the Lex Latina Bantiae reperta 


in his assumption that the failure of Roman generalship abroad did 
something to provoke this memorable enactment. Its date is un- 
certain, though it more probably belongs to the first tribunate of 
its author (103 B.C.) than to the second (100 B.C.); but its object 
is plain if not to create, at least roughly to define the offence of 
wanton injury to the maiestas populi Romani and also to establish 
penalties for the crime. Undoubtedly this weapon is most often 
found in the hands of politicians engaged in party struggles, and 
it is possible to believe that it was forged by Saturninus in part 
at least to break down resistance to his own supremacy at 
Rome 1 . But on the other hand, men who claimed office on the 
strength of their nobilitas and then used the consequent command 
to fling Roman armies recklessly away were a menace whose 
gravity the last ten years had abundantly revealed. Perduellio was 
a charge ill-suited to their case, and it is by no means unlikely that 
failure was henceforward to be discouraged by the prospect of a 
more appropriate, and for that reason more dangerous, prosecution 
for minuta maiestas. 


In the creation of the Mamilian commission and in the election 
of Marius to the consulship in 108 B.C. the People had shown signs 
of alarming self-assertion ; but even the most ardent admirer of the 
assemblies could scarcely urge that they were fit to conduct the 
daily business which campaigns abroad impose upon a government 
at home. The Senate alone could shoulder such a task, and, despite 
the incompetence of its chosen leaders in the field, the Jugurthine 
War, like all wars of the Republic, did something to maintain 
senatorial prestige. Marius' appointment was a criticism which 
admitted no reply ; but in general, so long as their work was such 
as no other body could perform, the Fathers were left in peace. 
The lull in political strife" allowed confidence to return, and in 
1 06 B.C. the Senate revealed both its courage and its folly by a 
piece of legislation which in war-time must appear amazing. As if 
to mark their defiance of the * new men * and the class from which 
they came, the nobiles took advantage of the domestic peace to 
launch an attack on the most controversial of all the Gracchan 
laws. Thereby was let loose a storm of opposition which did not 

(Bruns, Fontes*, 9) as a fragment of the Lex Appuleia de maiestate (J.R.S. 
xvi, 1 926, p. x 7 *)> it would be virtually certain that a new indicium publicum 
was created by this measure* 

1 See F. W. Robinson, Marius* Saturninus und Glaucia* p. 65 sf. 



abate till eight years had passed. Q. Servilius Caepio, one of the 
consuls, found time before his departure for Gaul to introduce a 
bill which changed the constitution of juries in certain criminal 
trials. Though our information is lamentably defective and does 
not explain what courts were now concerned, if it is right to see 
in the Lex Servilia Glauciae de rebus repetundis a repeal of Caepio *s 
work (p. 163)5 ' lt follows that, whatever other indicia publica may 
have existed at this time, it was to the quaestio refetundarum^ the 
subject of the Gracchan Lex Acilia, that Caepio confined his at- 
tention. There is doubt again about the nature of the change now 
introduced. According to the Livian tradition 1 , senators and 
'equites' were to sit side by side on juries, though in what pro- 
portions we are not told: but Tacitus 2 has a rival version, that *the 
courts were given back to the Senate/ and this account is perhaps 
made the more probable by Cicero's suggestion that senators 
and 'equites Romani' were never found together on a jury 
before the Lex Plautia of 89 B.C. 3 But, whatever its provisions, 
the ancient authorities contain no hint that the hill of Caepio failed 
to pass. Its passage had even been sped by the oratory of Crassus 4 ; 
but at this stage of his career he could no longer speak for the 
commercial class, and when Caepio went off to Gaul he left behind 
him a political situation in which the bitterness of the Gracchan 
age had been reborn. 

The Senate did not long enjoy its triumph. Towards the end of 
1 05 B.C. the return of Caepio in disgrace offered an easy victim 
to the opposition ; but the demand for reprisals against him and the 
other authors of disaster was not the only sign seen in 104 B.C. that 
senatorial influence was on the wane. It was probably in this year 
that the offensive judiciary law was repealed. C. Scrvilius Glaucia, 
the associate of Saturninus, is recorded to have passed a lew de 
rebus refetundis which, among other minor modifications, is said to 
have introduced procedure \yycomper en dinatio^ and to have author- 
ized the prosecution of those who received money wrongfully ex- 
torted, even if they had not themselves been accessory to the act 6 . 
Such is the meagre scope often assigned to this measure, which 
Mommsen proposed to place in 1 1 1 B.C. 7 This account, however, 

1 Preserved by Julius Obsequens 41 (101) and Cassiodorus, Chron in 
Mon. Germ. Hist., Auctt. antiquiss. xi, p. 132. 2 Ann. xn, 6o y 4* 

3 dp. Ascon. p. 79 c. The present writer may be allowed, however, to 
say that he does not share the prevailing confidence with which conclusions 
are drawn from this passage. 4 Cicero, Brutus* 43, 16144, 164. 

5 Cicero, 11 in Verr. i, 9, 26. 6 Cicero, fro Rab J?ost 4, 8 s$* 

7 Ges. Schriften* i, p. 22. 


is by no means satisfactory. Though it may be believed that the 
law was enacted by Glaucia as tribune, the arguments whereby it 
is proposed to fix his tribunate in 1 1 1 B.C. rest on so many hypo- 
theses as to be wholly inconclusive : moreover, such a chronology 
deprives the act of its undoubted significance. If it had merely 
introduced some changes in procedure, Cicero could scarcely have 
said that Glaucia *equestrem ordinem beneficio legis devinxerat. 1 ' 
The only evidence of value for the date of Glaucia's tribunate is to 
be found in an obscure passage of Appian 2 which, when inter- 
preted in the only intelligible way, reveals that it fell in a 
year immediately before one of the tribunates of Saturninus 
that is in 104 B.C. or 101 B.C. 3 In either case, the Lex Servilia 
Caepionis had already been passed, and the way is open to the con- 
clusion that the service whereby Glaucia won the goodwill of the 
'equites' was the restoration of the privileges which Caepio had 
removed. The precise date is unimportant. The words of Appian 
as they stand favour the second possibility; but their obscurity 
shows that he was not clear about the meaning of his authority, 
and the brief validity which the arrangements of Caepio seem to 
have enjoyed would rather suggest that the tribunate of Glaucia, 
and with it the lex de rebus repetundis^ belongs to 104 B.C. 

Thus the Senate paid for its folly of two years before. But this 
was not all: the opposition had now taken the offensive, and Cn. 
Domitius, a second tribune of 104 B.C., found time amid his 
occupations in the courts to challenge the oligarchs at another 
point. Hitherto the religious machinery of the State had been left 
to their unfettered management, but even this was now to be 
brought under some sort of popular control. A vacancy in the 
augural college caused by the death of Domitius' father 4 filled the 
son with ambition to secure the place for himself; but the appoint- 
ment was made by the usual co-optation, and the claims of Do- 
mitius were passed over in favour of another. The immediate 
responsibility for this was laid at the door of M. Aemilius Scaurus, 
who accordingly found himself arraigned on a frivolous charge 
(p. 1 60)* But Domitius was out for more than personal revenge* 
The Lex Domitia de sacerdotiis extended to the whole of the 
great priestly colleges a practice, hitherto only known in the choice 
of the Pontifex Maximus, which in effect amounted to election 
by the People. When an appointment was to be made, the names 
of candidates were submitted to a unique assembly composed of 

1 Brutus, 62, 224. 2 Bell. Ci<u. i y 28, 127. 

3 See G. Niccolini in Historic, iv, 1930, pp. 44 7, and the authorities 
there cited. * Suet. Nero, 2 > I. 

* i -a 


seventeen tribes chosen by lot out of the whole thirty-five. 
Deference to the traditions of the past still preserved the forms of 
co-optation. The popular vote in theory was not final; but when 
the People's choice was presented for admission to office by the 
ancient procedure, the College could do nought but acquiesce. 
Little as the State religion had by this time come to mean, there 
can be no doubt of the importance set upon the Lex Domitia: 
within a few years of its passage, when Metellus Delmaticus died, 
Domitius was made Pontifex Maximus in his stead, and the 
measure itself was one which Sulla found it worth while to repeal 
and Caesar, in 63 B.C., to re-enact (p. 487). 


If the year 104 B.C. saw other incidents of note, only one at 
most is recorded. Possibly at this time L. Marcius Philippus, a 
tribune destined for a remarkable career, proposed an agrarian 
law. Its object is unknown, though if this be its date we may 
conjecture that its benefits were meant at least in part for such 
veterans from Africa as were not transferred to Gaul: and, as it 
was withdrawn before the voting, it would not deserve mention 
at all had it not been in connection with this bill that Philippus 
made his memorable assertion that there were not two thousand 
men of real wealth in the State 1 . In the following year, however^ 
the political struggle grew more violent. Hitherto the resentment 
against the Senate unloosed by the judiciary law of 1 06 B,C* had 
found expression in the Lex Servilia Glauciac- if this belongs to 
104 B.C., in a few prosecutions, and in an isolated attack on the 
prerogatives of the nobility in the priesthood. Now, the opposition 
developed something like a consistent legislative programme, and 
the means whereby it was to be pressed indubitably found their 
inspiration in the Gracchi. The threat to the Senate seemed grave; 
for behind the tribunes there was soon to stand an ally such as the 
Gracchi had never known* When Marius led back the legions 
from Vercellae, his instincts were against the Senate; and had 
he thrown his weight on the side of its enemies, for all that men 
could tell his power might have made them irresistible. But in the 
end the government emerged victorious, thanks less to its own vir- 
tues than to the vices of its opponents. The failure of the opposition 
must be ascribed in the first place to the lack of ideals among its 
leaders. Though they courted the class from which the Gracchan 
indices were drawn, they proved so reckless in their methods and 

1 Cicero, de off. ir, 21, 73. 


so barren of salutary reforms that responsible opinion set against 
them, until finally their fate was sealed by the desertion of Marius 

L. Appuleius Saturninus came of praetorian stock. He had 
some small pretensions as an orator, and his character was not 
above reproach; but nothing marked him for his later notoriety 
until, in some year which cannot now be ascertained, he gained 
the quaestorship and received Ostia as his province, with the 
business of superintending the passage of the corn-supplies to 
Rome. During his period of control there came a shortage, and 
though Diodorus 1 is scarcely fair in saddling Saturninus with the 
blame when prices rose, the Senate removed him from his post 
and transferred his duties for the time being to M, Scaurus, the 
Princeps Senatus, whose presence at Ostia would ensure that, when 
prices became normal again, the credit would accrue to the 
nobility. The result of this treatment was to fill Saturninus with a 
bitter hatred of the government: he became a fopularis^i and, 
when he entered the first of his tribunates on 10 December 104 
B.C., the time to pay off old scores had arrived. 

Saturninus was tribune for the second time in 100 B.C., and our 
authorities are so lamentably unsuccessful in their attempts to dis- 
tinguish his two periods of office that any attempt to reconstruct 
the course of his legislation must be even more tentative than in 
the case of Gaius Gracchus. Like Gracchus, Saturninus seems to 
have begun with a texfrumentaria., though, if our only information 
is correct about the suggested price, this measure had little in 
common with its model 3 . According to the treatise ad Herennium\ 
corn was to be sold at five-sixths of an as, which meant, if this was 
the charge for a modiu$ y that the cost to purchasers was reduced to 
little more than one-eighth of that established by the law of 123 
B.C. 5 The introduction of this bill provoked instant opposition. 

1 xxxvi, 12. 2 Cicero, de har. resp. 20, 43. 

3 The reasons which lead the present writer to place this measure in the 
first tribunate are (i) its obvious connection with the incidents of Saturninus' 
quaestorship; (ii) the probability that Saturninus was consciously following 
the course of Gaius Gracchus; and, most important, (iii) the virtual im- 
possibility of putting the quaestorship of Q. Caepio (see B.M*C* Rep. i, 
p. 170 and nr, plate XXIX, 12), who was in office when the lex frumen~ 
taria was proposed, in 100 B.C. (see F. W. Robinson, Marius > Saturninus 
und Glaucia* p. 63 $q,}, 

4 i, 12, 21. 

5 It is, however, by no means impossible that in ad Herenntum (loc. at.) 
we should read * senis et trientibus ' for c semissibus et trientibus ' : in that 
case Saturninus would merely have re-introduced the Gracchan arrangement. 


The old complaints about the burden on the Treasury were heard 
again; the Senate solemnly recorded its opinion that to proceed 
with the measure would be against the interests of the State ; and 
rival tribunes, as usual, were found to interpose their veto. When 
Saturninus ignored the obstruction of his colleagues, an enter- 
prising quaestor, Q. Servilius Caepio, broke up the Concilium 
Plebis by force; and it is by no means certain that the bill was ever 
passed. Whatever its immediate effect may have been, the inter- 
vention of Caepio was such as to provoke reprisals : he was subse- 
quently prosecuted for maiestas minuta> and we may well believe 
that against him, among others, the Lex Appuleia de maiestate 
was aimed (p, 161). 

Having made his bid for popular support, Saturninus com- 
pleted the work of his first tribunate, so far as it is known to us, 
by courting the goodwill of Marius. Besides lending help to the 
campaign which won Marius his fourth consulship (p. 147), 
Saturninus took it upon himself to provide pensions for the 
veterans of the Jugurthine War. By a measure which is definitely 
assigned to 103 B.C. 1 and which is also more appropriate then than 
later, generous allotments in Africa, each of a hundred iugera^ 
were offered to troops on their discharge. At first the bill was 
blocked by the inevitable veto; but the hostile tribune was soon 
stoned off the field and the proposal in the end became law. Such 
is the suggestion of our one authority, and confirmation may 
perhaps be found in the existence of certain townships in the hill 
country south of the River Bagradas which so late as the third 
century A. D. bore 'Mariana' among their titles 2 . 

For all its limitations, the legislative achievement of 103 B*C, is 
not to be ignored. Saturninus had laid the foundations of a per- 
sonal ascendancy, which he and his friends might use for good or 
ill. After the corn-bill had been launched, even if it proved abortive, 
the masses must have hailed its author as a disciple of the Gracchi : 
the African land law revealed a champion of the ex-service man : 
and the establishment of a quaestio maiestatis put a new and for- 
midable weapon into the hands of those who were strong enough 
to use it. Saturninus, indeed, appeared to be recalling the Gracchan 
age with such success that an obscure adventurer, one L. Equitius, 
thought it worth while to proclaim himself a son of Tiberius. The 

which had been suspended at some time after its author's death (see above, 
P- 95)- 1 de <uiri$ ilL 73, I. 

2 Dessau 1334, 9405 (Uchi Maius) and 6790 (Thiban). For a sug- 
gestion that the colonists of these places were not Italians, see S. GselL, 
Histoire ancienne de fjifrique du Nord 9 voL VII, pp. 10 and 263 $q* 


man was a native of Firmum, but on his status the authorities are 
divided : one says that he was a freedman, others a runaway slave. 
His reception was naturally cool. The Senate could scarcely be 
enthusiastic, and a Gracchus, had his parentage been proved, 
might well have ousted Saturninus himself from the first place in 
the popular affections. But, to the general relief, Sempronia, sister 
of the tribunes and widow of Scipio Aemilianus, when brought on 
to the Rostra resolutely refused to recognize the impostor. After the 
danger of a rival had thus been removed, Saturninus turned the 
fellow to account. In spite of the family repudiation, he still re- 
tained credit enough with the masses to make his adhesion an asset 
to the cause; and if his appearance is rightly placed in 103 B.C. 1 , 
for three years he played his humble part until in 100 he was 
elected to the tribunate and killed on his first day of office. 

The year 102 B.C. opened with quieter promise. Saturninus and 
Glaucia were both privati y and the centre of the stage was yielded 
to leaders of the other side. Men might have hoped that domestic 
strife would cease until the crisis in Gaul had passed; but a new 
struggle was suddenly provoked by the most staid and dignified 
of all Roman institutions. When censors were due to be appointed, 
the choice of the Centuries fell on two Metelli Numidicus and 
his cousin Caprarius. Worthier men could scarcely be conceived, 
and the lustrum might have been closed without mishap had not 
Numidicus allowed principle to override discretion. Feeling ran 
high when he refused to recognize the false Gracchus as a citizen, 
but his determination to remove Glaucia and Saturninus from the 
Senate came near to causing a disaster. He was assailed by the 
mob, and from his refuge on the Capitol he was only rescued after 
something like a battle. Fortunately Caprarius kept his head: he 
set his face against the misguided vigour of his cousin and, by 
withholding his consent to their removal, preserved the dema- 
gogues their status. The significance of this is plain : by rescinding 
the Lex Servilia Caepionis and by the legislation of 103 B.C. they 
had acquired a following which the Senate was not strong enough 
to flout. Such was the situation for which the Optimates had to 
thank their own imprudence in meddling with the Gracchan con- 
stitution of the quaestio refetundarum. 

If the menace could not be met by force, it must be left alone 
in the hope that its leaders would work their own destruction. 
This in the end they did, though not before the movement had 
attained still more dangerous proportions. For the present the 
demagogues held their hands, but after Vercellae they took the 

1 de 'ulris ML 73> 3 


field again, with Marius now their open ally. First, however, 
Saturninus made a false move, which came near to proving fatal. 
In 101 B.C. there arrived in Rome an embassy from Mithridates 
Eupator, bringing with it, according to report, a large sum of 
money wherewith to bribe the Senate; and Saturninus for reasons 
of his own saw fit to assail the ambassadors in public with the 
most offensive abuse. Thereupon the strangers, not without en- 
couragement from high quarters in Rome, made formal complaint : 
Saturninus was arraigned on a capital charge: and his conviction 
seemed certain till he invoked the faithful mob. Then, at a word from 
their favourite, his followers flocked in such numbers to the court 
that fear secured an unexpected acquittal, and the intended victim 
emerged unharmed, with his popularity increased by his recent 

The movement now gathered strength. "With Marius released 
from duties in the field, the year 100 B.C. was chosen for the final 
challenge to senatorial control, Marius himself was to be consul 
for the sixth time, Glaucia praetor, and Saturninus was to hold a 
second tribunate. With the help of a single murder the victim 
was a rival of Saturninus the elections were negotiated with 
success, and the concentration of the talents was achieved. But 
once they were in office, there came a change. The new masters 
were revealed as men of straw, without a policy, without ideals and 
not even at one among themselves. For all his faults, Marius was 
not a fool. Experience in war seems to have left him, like the 
younger Africanus, with small respect for the political wisdom of 
the masses, and willing as he might be, like a true popularts^ to use 
the People for his own good purposes, he had sense enough to see 
that nothing but harm could come of handing over government 
to the arbitrament of a rabble, even if the rabble drew its strength 
from the veterans of his own armies. 

The rupture came slowly : at first the coalition was held together 
by common interest in schemes to distribute land schemes which 
Marius needed for his soldiers and which would also serve the ends 
of Glaucia and Saturninus by earning favour with the proletariate 
of Rome. From the scanty evidence of our authorities it appears 
that measures were introduced for the grant of allotments in Gaul 1 
and the foundation of colonies in various parts of the Empire, 

1 Appian, "Bell. Civ. i, 29, 1 30. Though there can be no certainty that he 
has rightly understood his source, the words of Appian, interpreted in the light 
of his own usage elsewhere, suggest that these allotments were to be made in 
Transalpine, and not Cisalpine, Gaul. Possibly sites were to be found in the 
territory of the Volcae Tectosages. 


among which Sicily, Achaea and Macedonia are named 1 . The plans 
for settlements in Gaul came to nothing ; but of the colonial policy 
there is more to be said. Though Cicero records that the colonies 
were never founded, he makes it clear that preparations were at 
least begun 2 . By the Lex Appuleia, Marius was empowered 'in 
singulas colonias ternos cives Romanes facer e 3 / and we know 
that in a few cases at least he had exercised his rights. It is not 
their use, however, which matters so much as their implication. 
If the number given in this crucial passage is not corrupt, and 
if it is legitimate to assume that the power to nominate three 
members of each colony would have been of negligible value, 
* cives Romanos facere 7 must mean more than this. In that case it 
follows that the cives Romani in these cities were to be a privileged 
class, that the communities as a whole were not to be coloniae 
civium Romanorum and, consequently, that they were almost cer- 
tainly designed to hold the Latin right. To this conjecture another 
may be added. If the colonies were to receive the Latin status^ 
it is most unlikely that their members were all to be drawn from 
the existing body of Roman citizens, and it may be surmised 
that they were to be recruited in part at least from allied com- 
munities as well 4 . In such a measure there was enough material 
for jealousy and to spare. Whatever benefits Saturninus may have 
intended for the city proletariate, it seems that the needs of the 
ex-service men were given such prominence as to raise violent 
antagonism among the self-seeking idlers of the Forum; and, in 
addition to the bad feeling within the Roman State, there was 
rivalry between Romans and Italians. As in the time of Gaius 
Gracchus, a suggestion of modest generosity to the allies who 
had fought for Rome roused the worst passions of the citizens 
themselves, and it is possible, too, that the Italians, on their side, 
were made anxious by the threat of a new search for land to be 
distributed in allotments. The agitation among the allies with 
which the government thought fit to deal in 95 B.C. may well have 
been due in some degree to the activities of Saturninus. 

1 de <viri$ ill. 73, 5. 

2 Of the colonies actually recorded in this period there is nothing to prove 
that Dertona and Eporedia (Veil. Pat. i, 15, 5) owed their origin to the 
Lex Appuleia, and the date of the c colonia Mariana* in Corsica (Pliny, 
N.H. nt, 80) is unknown. 3 pro Ealbo^ 21, 48. 

4 This view is not to be supported by the passage of Appian (BelL Civ. 
i, 29, 132) which has often been used as evidence in its favour. The 
"'Ira^&rat there are not Italian allies but Roman citizens of the country 
districts: see D. Kontchalovsky in Rev* hist. 153, 1926, pp. 


These, however, were not the only difficulties. Saturninus had 
incurred the bitter hostility of the Senate by inserting ^^sanctio in 
the bill, requiring every member of the House, under pain of exile 
and a fine, to swear an oath within five days of its enactment that 
he would abide by its provisions. When the day for voting arrived, 
recourse was had to the familiar methods of obstruction. Tribunes 
were found to intercede and unfavourable omens were announced; 
but with the aid of the faithful veterans, after a momentary success, 
the enemy were chased off the field and a farcical pretence of 
voting made the measure a law of the Roman People. It was now 
the business of Marius to ask the Fathers for their oaths. At the 
first meeting Metellus Numidicus declared his determination to 
refuse, and such was the support he secured that the sitting broke 
up with nothing done. But later, when four of the five days had 
gone, the House was convened again and Marius suggested a 
course which revealed his attitude towards his friends. He pro- 
posed to take the statutory oath subject to the validity of the law, 
and at the same time he encouraged the senators to reflect that, 
once the mob had gone back to its homes, there would be no dif- 
ficulty in proving that a measure passed by violence and in face 
of hostile auspices must be set aside. With this reservation Marius 
then swore his oath, and his example was followed by the rest, with 
the solitary exception of Numidicus, who soon retired to exile. 

Political incompetence had wasted so much time in securing 
this miserable achievement that no more could be clone before 
the elections for the next year fell due, Saturninus managed to get 
himself returned as tribune for the third time, with the * false 
Gracchus* as his colleague; but the consulships were more dif- 
ficult to secure. Though M. Antonius had claims for one place 
which could not be overlooked, the other remained open. For this, 
in flat defiance of the Lex Villia annalis since he was praetor at the 
time, Glaucia became a candidate, and after he had secured the 
murder of his most serious rival his election seemed not improbable* 
By now, however, the experience of the Senate and the folly of its 
opponents had begun to tell. Responsible opinion had been 
alienated by the outrageous violence of the new regime, and its 
appeal to force had been cleverly countered when the Senate 
turned to its own uses the resentment felt by the city mob at the 
political activities of the veterans from the countryside. It hap- 
pened that the victim of the assassination was C, Memmius, the 
man who by his denunciations of corruption as tribune-designate 
in 112 B.C. had given earliest voice to that demand for vigour in the 
Jugurthine campaign which had led in the end to the appointment 


of Marius. Memmius was no friend of the Senate. His criticisms 
as tribune had been continued by opposition to the Lex Servilia 
Caepionis in 106 B.C.; but, even If his sympathies lay with the 
financial class, he was a serious politician who had done service to 
the State and had never stooped to hooliganism of the kind which 
caused his death. His murder was the signal for drastic action. 
Before Glaucia could summon his gangs in strength, he found 
himself besieged on the Capitoline Hill with Saturninus and an- 
other ruffian named Saufeius, who was quaestor. The Senate then 
passed its formidable s.c. de re publica dejendenda\ Marius was 
instructed to restore order, which meant that he must arrest his 
quondam friends; and, after the water-supply had been cut, the 
whole party surrendered. Their lives were now in the gravest 
danger; for the mob was athirst for blood. In hopes of frustrating 
the threatened lynching Marius locked up his prisoners in the 
Senate House, but on 10 December, the day when new tribunes 
entered office, a band of stalwarts climbed the roof and, tearing off 
the tiles, pelted the crowd beneath to death. Among the assailants 
was a young man named C. Rabirius, who thirty-seven years 
afterwards was to be charged with perduellio for his part in this 
affair (see below, p. 489). 

When once the leaders were dead, their following was impotent, 
and It seems that the offensive legislation was forthwith declared 
invalid. Thus, after violence had destroyed its authors, Rome at 
length emerged into a period of uneasy peace when it was time to 
reflect on the meaning of what had passed. Glaucia and Saturninus 
were little men. To the political experience of Rome they brought 
nothing of their own save perhaps the use of unbridled violence 
and an utter disregard of law & contribution which, to the credit 
of their contemporaries, repelled the sympathies of almost every 
class. Nevertheless, though their littleness may serve as a reminder 
of the full stature of Gaius Gracchus, it Is to a legacy from the 
Gracchi that the worst features of their domination must be 
ascribed. Materialism of aim and violence in Its pursuit were the 
Inevitable outcome of a system which allowed unfettered liberty of 
legislation to a body of voters such as the Concilium Plebis : and 
this was the system which, though they knew not what they did, it 
had been the most sinister achievement of the Gracchi to explore 
(see above, pp. 90 $qq.}* 

Yet, despite its dangers, the episode gave certain grounds for 
hope. Demagogy unleavened by ideals had been countered with 
siiccess, and what was more important the military triumphs 
of Marius had failed to compensate for his total lack of political 


ability. Mistrusted by the Senate and despised by his former friends, 
the man who had been five times consul by the age of fifty-six stood 
helpless in utter isolation. In 98 B.C., after a feeble protest against 
the recall of Numidicus, he retired to Asia and temporary oblivion. 
This elimination of Marius was an encouraging surprise. The pro- 
fessional armies first formally recruited in 108 B.C. were a menace 
to free government of the utmost gravity and a menace which 
was to cause the fall of the Republic; but the failure of Marius 
showed that there were limitations to the power of the troops. In 
the past Rome had been no stranger to soldiers who were states- 
men as well; and, when such appeared again, they would find in 
the fidelity of long-service armies an asset of immeasurable value. 
What Marius' fate revealed was that even now no claim to 
supremacy at home could rest on military gifts alone, without the 
support of some political sagacity: it was left for the Thracian 
Maximinus, after more than three hundred years, to be the first 
mere soldier raised to supremacy by his men. 


With the departure of Marius, the tide ran fast in favour of the 
Senate. Metellus Numidicus returned in triumph, and soon the 
survivors of the vanquished party were called on for the usual 
settling of accounts* P. Furius, a political adventurer, who as tri- 
bune had dared to oppose Numidicus' recall, was put on trial, but 
before he could be condemned the mob had torn him limb from 
limb: C. Appuleius Decianus was found guilty on some charge 
because he had rashly lamented the manner of Saturninus* end: 
Sextus Titius, who as tribune in 99 B.C. had tried to revive the 
agrarian scheme 1 , was condemned, partly at least because he kept 
a bust of Saturninus in his house ; and to this period we should 
probably assign the celebrated prosecution of C Norbanus, who 
as tribune in 104 B.C. had played a leading part in the attack on 
Q, Caepio for the scandal of the 'aurum Tolosae.* Their common 
sufferings at the hands of Saturninus and Glaucia had by now so 
far healed the breach between the Senate and its rivals in the courts 
that Norbanus was arraigned in the quaestio maiestatis* His cha- 
racter commanded small respect, and it is possible that he had 
compromised himself by association with Saturninus ; but, what- 
ever the precise reason for their hope, it is significant that the 
nobility conceived it possible that a court of Gracchan indices 

1 Julius Obsequens, 46 (106); Val. Max. vm, i, Damn. 3, If the law of 
Titius was passed, it must have been immediately repealed. 


might convict the enemy of their own detested foe. The prosecu- 
tion was led by a young aristocrat of high promise, P. Sulpicius 
Rufus; the defence by M. Antonius himself, under whom Nor- 
banus had once served as quaestor. After an outstanding per- 
formance by Antonius, which Cicero describes at length 1 , the 
trial ended in acquittal; but that it should ever have been begun 
is a sufficient sign of the extent to which all decent citizens had 
been united by the experience of 100 B.C. 

When old scores had thus been paid, Rome enjoyed a period of 
unwonted peace. Abroad there were none but minor campaigns 
in Spain (p. 3 1 9), and at home the Concordia Ordinum bid fair 
to last. For a time the State came near to the felicity of those who 
have no history. The consuls of 98 B.C. T. Didius, a 'new man/ 
and Q. Caecilius Metellus Nepos, a son of Balearicus passed a 
small but salutary piece of legislation. To improve the chances of 
a doubtful measure by uniting it with another of more compelling 
appeal is a familiar political manoeuvre; and a no less obvious 
recourse for the demagogue in fear of opposition is to rush a bill 
through all its stages without leaving that interval before the final 
vote which, in days when news travelled slow, was peculiarly valuable 
to an assembly whose members were widely scattered. Though it 
is scarcely more, there is a strong suspicion that both these tricks 
had been played by Saturninus; and by the Lex Caecilia Didia 
both were made illegal. 'Tacking' the inclusion of unconnected 
proposals in a single bill was forbidden 2 , and the customary 
-promulgatio followed by an interval of three nundinae was made 
obligatory before a measure could be submitted to the vote. 
Henceforward there was to be no doubt that the perfunctory pro- 
cedure of demagogues in a hurry did not produce valid law. In 
the following year, when L. Valerius Flaccus and M. Antonius 
were censors, another small advance was made, this time in a dif- 
ferent direction. The Senate passed a decree against human sacri- 
fice an alien custom which sixteen years earlier had come near to 
winning the approval of the State (see above, p. 97) and which, 
5n spite of all attempts at its suppression, lingered long in Rome 3 . 

But, if Rome was exclusive in her religion, she was more 
catholic in her culture. When the next censorship fell due . in 
92 B.C., the office was entrusted to L. Crassus, the orator, and 
On. Domitius Ahenobarbus, the tribune of 104 B.C., who now was 
Pontifex Maximus. The liberal tastes of Crassus did not find favour 

1 de orat. n, 48, 199-50, 203, 

2 That this prohibition was not altogether new is proved by Bruns, 
Fontei i 9 10, L 71. 3 Pliny, N.H. xxvni, 12. 


with the grim austerity of his colleague, and the dissensions which 
ended in their abdication became the theme of many stories. 
But on one point they agreed. In spite of their suppression seventy 
years before 1 , teachers of rhetoric had begun to show their heads 
again, and among them there now appeared men of a new type, 
who confined their instruction to Latin. In earlier days the 
prejudice had been against Greeks ; now ? however, though the 
case was probably affected by personal considerations 2 , the Latin 
teachers were chosen for attack. Of the Greek rhetoricians it 
could at least be said that, whatever their faults, they taught 
something more than how to move a mob; for Greece had a litera- 
ture worthy of the name, which Rome so far had not, and Crassus, 
who had trained his own gifts by laboriously translating the master- 
pieces of Greek oratory, may well have seen no good in schools for 
demagogues 3 . So the censors by edict condemned the Latin 
rhetoricians 4 , and the Roman youth, when it learnt the art of 
public speaking, was encouraged to seek help in the legacy of 

Amid such trivialities as these, two incidents of profounder 
significance stand out, A quarter of a century had passed since the 
fall of Gaius Gracchus had frustrated the hopes of those who, by 
open-handed generosity toward the Italian allies, would have 
anticipated the concessions wrung out of Rome by the Social War* 
During the years of anxiety which followed, the grievance was not 
pressed. So long as Rome was engaged with Jugurtha and the 
Germans, the allies held their hand; for it had never been their 
custom to turn the difficulties of Rome to their own advantage, 
and it may be suspected that, when troubles abroad gave im- 
mediate value to Italian help, the Roman magistrates refrained 
from the worst extremes of tactlessness* When at length the 
fighting was done, it was the aggressive jealousy of Rome, rather 
than the insistence of the Italians on redress, which led in ten 
years to the outbreak of intestine war* As early as 100 B.C*, when 
Italians were to share with Roman citizens in the benefits of the 
colonial foundations, the signs of protest had been discerned,, 
and resentment at liberality to the allies seems to have combined 
with dislike of Roman veterans from the country to lose Saturninus 
the support of the city mob. In 95 B.C. the allies suffered a severer 
blow. Five years earlier they might have reflected that the con- 
sidered judgment of the Roman People was not necessarily to be 

1 Gellius, N.ji. xv, n, i. 

2 See A. Gwynn, Roman Education from Cicero to Quintilian, pp. 60 sqq. 

3 Cicero, de or at, in, 24, 93-95. 4 Gellius, ib. 2j Suet, de rhet* ! 


heard in the selfish clamours of the Concilium Plebis; but now by 
the action of the consuls, taken with the Senate's full assent, the 
fear that the masses spoke the mind of Rome was confirmed beyond 
dispute. During the recent troubles Latins and Italians had flocked 
in large numbers to Rome, where for two reasons their presence 
was unwelcome. By public demonstrations, like those of the 
Gracchan age (p. 80), they could subject the Concilium Plebis 
to a pressure which, puny as it might be, was resented as an alien 
interference with the affairs of Rome; and by bold assumption of 
the part, if not by false declarations to the censors, they might 
even gain the effective benefits of that ^W/^5 whichRome was deter- 
mined to withhold. The consuls Crassus and Scaevola accordingly 
enacted what was to become the most famous of all the expulsions 
of aliens from Rome. Though we may assume that exemption 
was allowed to such as could justify their visit, the generality 
of Latins and Italians to be found in the city were removed 1 . And 
this was not all. The many who without legal right were passing 
as Roman citizens 2 , if on challenge they still maintained their 
claims, were subjected to an examination of such severity that 
false pretences can rarely have escaped detection 3 . Such was the 
measure whereby the consuls of 95 B.C. not merely embittered the 
minds of the Italians but, if Asconius is to be believed 4 , precipi- 
tated the Social War. The Lex Licinia Mucia, though it was the 
work of honest and able men, was an astounding blunder 5 . It de- 
clared in solemn and authoritative form the adamant exclusiveness 
of Rome, and it did so at a time when the patience of the allies 
was near its end. The warnings of Gaius Gracchus were for- 
gotten. By a blindness which it is difficult to conceive the loyalty 
of Italy during the Jugurthine and Germanic Wars was mistaken 
for acquiescence in the existing order : and two of her most dis- 
tinguished public men came near to losing Rome her imperial 
position. Henceforward the question of the allies was a burning 

Three years later the Concordia Ordinum collapsed. As praetor 
in 98 B.C. Scaevola had been given the command of Asia, and as 
his legatm in that responsible position he had chosen P. Rutilius 
Rufus, the consul of 105 B.C., a man whose character and ideals 
were as noble as his own. Both Scaevola and Rutilius belonged 
to that estimable class which, largely because of its familiarity 

1 SchoL Bob, ap. Stangl, n, p. 129. 

2 Cicero, de off. m, 1 1 , 47 ; Asconius, p. 68 c. 

8 Cicero, pro Balbo* 21, 48. 4 p. 68 c. 5 Cicero ap. Ascon* p. 67 c. 


with the culture of Greece, did much to develop the Civil Law 
during the last century of the Republic. On this score Rutilius, 
in particular, was long remembered. His is the first name to occur 
in the recorded history of the Edict, and his innovations are worthy 
both of his own reputation and of his master Panaetius (p. 850). 
The administration of this pair in the East gave the provincials an 
unusual experience of honest government an experience so rare 
that the memory of Scaevola was afterwards kept green by festivals 
founded in his honour 1 . By chance it befell that with this happy 
time Rutilius was connected almost as closely as Scaevola himself; 
for after nine months the proconsul left the province 2 and 
Rutilius was in charge until the arrival of a successor. This 
accident subsequently cost him dear. Traders and tax-gatherers 
bided their time : five years passed before they struck. Scaevola, 
with the prestige of exalted birth and the authority of a Pontifex 
Maximus, promised to be no easy victim: Rutilius, a 'new man/ 
might prove a simpler prey. So in 92 B.C. Rutilius was accused of 
illegal exaction by one Apicius. Disdaining the help of the great 
orators of the day and allowing none to speak on his behalf save 
C. Cotta, his nephew, Rutilius defended himself in Socratic style : 
conscious of his honesty, he proudly refused an apology for his 
conduct and, instead, bewailed the misfortunes of the State. But 
evidence and speeches were a formality: the jurors were deter- 
mined to teach the Senate that its members could not safely 
thwart the financiers' quest for wealth; and the influence of 
Marius, slight but malign, backed up the scheme to deal the 
Senate a blow. So Rutilius was condemned; and when his pro- 
perty proved too small to make restitution of what had never come 
into his hands, he retired to Smyrna and lived as an honoured 
guest among the grateful victims of his alleged rapacity. 

Though an attempt to follow up this success by an attack on 
M. Scaurus, the Princeps Senatus, seems to have led to no definite 
result, the outcome of the trial of Rutilius was no ordinary scandal. 
By it men might know what provinces meant to a powerful section 
of society at Rome, whose growing influence on policy had more 
than once appeared. The knowledge was not encouraging. If 
Rome was to become worthy of her mission, there must be a 
change of heart which could not be wrought in a day. It was left 
for Augustus to create a government which recognized the duties 
of an imperial power. But there was another aspect of the affair 
which called for more immediate action. The verdict was not only 

1 LG.R.R. iv, 1885 Ps.-Asconius, ap. Stangl, n, p. 202. 

2 Cicero, ad Jftt. v, 17, 5, 


a declaration of war on the Senate by the class from which Gains 
Gracchus had drawn his jurors : it was a condemnation of that class 
itself. Corrupt the senatorial jurors of earlier days may have been ; 
but their successors appeared to be worse. Though scandals had 
not been numerous, the case of Rutilius by itself was enough. The 
experiment of the Lex Acilia had failed, and there was need for 
reform forthwith, if provincial administration was not to become 
a farce. 


Rome was still stirred by the outcome of this trial when, on 
10 December 92,, ML Livius Drusus entered on his tribunate. 
Drusus, the son of Gaius Gracchus* rival, came of a distinguished 
stock whose lustre he increased by the adoption of a child destined 
to be the father-in-law of Augustus. His aims were lofty, his 
character above reproach, and though some might call him a moral 
snob, he was on terms of intimacy with the most enlightened mem- 
bers of his generation. Special mention is made of his friendship 
with P. Sulpicius Rufus and C. Cotta, and among his seniors he 
won the goodwill of the orator Crassus and of Scaurus, the 
Princeps Senatus. Like Tiberius Gracchus, Drusus did not fail 
for lack of sound advice; yet, in spite of all the wisdom which the 
Senate placed at his disposal, his policy owed its greatest debt to 
the example of Gaius Gracchus. So much, at least, is plain; but 
the lamentable defects of our authorities for his career leave some 
of the most vital problems obscure and do not even allow a con- 
fident conclusion about the order in which he addressed his many 
tasks. For a year to which Livy devoted more than a whole book 
we are dependent on casual notices which together would not fill 
more than a few pages, and even of these the earlier and more 
trustworthy, like those of Cicero, are often deprived of value 
because they assume familiarity with the facts. 

For a man with the outlook of a Drusus the urgent issues of 
the day were two. After the fate of Rutilius no decent citizen could 
be satisfied with the way in which the quaestio repetundarum was 
using its powers : after the history of the last forty years, with its 
lesson driven home by the events which produced the Lex Licinia 
Mucia of 95 B.C., no Roman of intelligence could fail to see, how- 
ever little the prospect may have pleased, that the claims of the 
Italians could no longer be ignored. To remove the grievance? 
of the allies by a drastic change in the relations between Rome 

C.A.H. IX 13 


and the rest of Italy was now the supreme duty of Roman states- 
manship, and there need be no doubt that Appian 1 is right In 
his suggestion that this was the object which from the beginning 
Drusus set out to reach. But, though the events of this crowded 
tribunate must have followed one another in rapid succession^ 
Appian finds less support in the other authorities when he 
arranges his account in a way which 5 to a superficial reading at 
least, implies that a measure to extend the franchise was launched 
early in the year. Probability, as well as the weight of evidence, 
is on the side of Velleius 2 when he lets it be understood that pro- 
posals for the benefit of the Italians were only broached in public 
after other projects had been long enough under discussion for 
their fate, If not to be decided, at least to have been put beyond 
all reasonable doubt. Cicero 3 is emphatic that Drusus began his 
tribunician career as a champion of the Senate, and this clue, con- 
firmed by other evidence, is authority enough for the conclusion 
that the first memorable reform which he essayed was one affecting 
that Institution with which the Senate was now most acutely con- 
cerned the quaestio repetundarum. 

But to say so much is not to deny that this proposal was accom- 
panied by others. If Drusus was to establish his political authority., 
it was essential for him to secure the goodwill of the masses, whose 
interest In the struggle for control of the courts was mild at the 
most. There is every likelihood that at the outset he sought, 
in the true Gracchan style, to attract a solid body of support by 
schemes of a charitable kind. He was the author of a bill de 
coloniis deducendis^ the purpose of which almost certainly was to 
complete the schemes or settlement once sponsored by his 
father 4 (p. 72), and besides this there were a Lex Livia and a ,Lex 
Saufeia, both apparently designed to authorize the distribution of 
land In allotments to individuals 5 . Finally came the inevitable 
appeal to the stomach in new arrangements for the public /rumen*- 
tationes. Though their details are unrecorded, all these measures 
seem to have been passed: of the colonial bill alone this is not posi- 
tively asserted. Such sudden generosity seems to have produced Its 
natural result In a crisis at the Treasury : there was a lack of ready 

Civ. i, 35, 155, * u, 14, i. 

a de orat, i, 7, 24; c pro Mttane, 7, 16. 4 Appian, BdL Civ. i 35* 156. 

5 Dessau 49. The commission appointed to apply the Lex Livia agraria 
has perhaps left a record of its constitution (C.LL. x, 44 and add, HI, 
p. 1003): if C. Cichorius (Romische Studien 9 pp. 116 sqq^) is right in his 
interpretation of this text, it shows a distinguished board with the orator 
Crassus as its outstanding member, 6 Livy, Spit. 71. 


money 3 which Drusus sought to meet by a dangerous device. He 
debased the silver coinage, probably by striking one denarius in 
every eight of silver-plated bronxe 1 a step which, with others, 
was to lead before long to disastrous confusion (p. 266), Never- 
thelesSj the programme as a whole won a passing popularity for 
its author% and Drusus might hope to count on a majority in the 
Concilium Plebis when he came forward with a contentious project 
which had no bearing on the interests of the ordinary voter. 

The measure whereby Drusus sought to mitigate the scandal 
of the quaestio repetundarum is described by our authorities in 
terms which are completely contradictory. According to Velleius 3 , 
its aim was simply to substitute senators for the Gracchan indices. 
Appian 4 ? on the other hand,, qualifies this version with the sug- 
gestion that the Senate which would now supply the jurors was to 
be the existing body of three hundred, or thereabouts, enlarged 
by the addition of as many new members drawn from the wealthy 
business class : this account of the reform makes It in essentials the 
same as the first judiciary proposal ascribed to Gaius Gracchus 
(p. 70). Finally, there is the Livian tradition 5 , which envisages 
mixed juries and differs from the story told by Appian in implying 
that, though senators were now to have a place, those jurors who 
represented the commercial interests were still to remain outside 
the Senate. A decision between these rival possibilities can be made 
with the help of evidence supplied by Cicero and Appian on a 
cognate matter. It has been seen already that judicial corruption 
was an offence governed by a law which Gaius Gracchus had 
passed in the days before he envisaged the drastic reconstitution 
of the quaestio refetundarum enacted by the Lex Acilia (p. 53 J^.). 
The measure seems to have applied to senators alone; and, when 
senators were ousted from the juries, the Gracchani indices who 
succeeded them claimed immunity from its provisions. This 
monstrous anomaly Cicero 6 and Appian 7 agree in saying that 

1 Pliny, N.H, xxxm, 46. It has been suggested by H. Mattingly (Num. 
Chron. Series V, vol. iv y 1924, p. 46) that this notice may refer to the 
tribune of 123/2 B.C. 

2 Pliny, N.H. xxv, 52. 3 n, 1 3, 2. 

4 Bell. Civ. i, 35, 158. 5 Livy, Epit. 71. 

6 pro Rab. Post. 7, 16. The theory of Mommsen (Staatsrecht, iix, p. 532, 
n. i) that this passage describes nothing more than the establishment of a 
court to investigate cases of corruption among Gracchani iudices in the past 
would seem to the present writer most improbable, even if Mommsen's 
insistence on the reading 'iudicatam' were justified. Livius Drusus was 
certainly in no position to indulge in measures of mere vindictiveness. 

7 Bell. Civ. i, 35, 158 and 161. 


Drusus sought to end, and their words strongly imply that this 
end was to be attained by fresh legislation. Since the old Lex 
Sempronia was still In force and ready for application to any 
senators who might find themselves serving in the courts, it 
follows that the jurors at whom the new act was aimed were not 
members of the Senate; and therein is to be found confirmation of 
the Livian account that juries henceforward were to be mixed. 
Whether, besides admitting senators to a share in the constitution 
of the courts, Drusus also proposed to enrol three hundred new 
members in the Senate, as Appian suggests, the evidence does not 
permit us to decide: but the readiness with which the Senate 
annulled the work of Drusus is certainly in favour of this 
assumption 1 . 

The reception of these proposals was of the kind which com- 
promise has always to expect. While the class from which Gaius 
Gracchus had drawn his jurors was implacably opposed to a 
scheme which would deprive it of its unchallenged control of the 
courts and put an end to its precious privilege of receiving bribes 
with impunity, the concession to the Senate of a mere share in the 
composition of the juries was too meagre to fill that body with any 
abiding enthusiasm. Voices began to be raised in opposition. 
There was a quarrel between Drusus and his brother-in-law, 
Q. Servilius Caepio; and one of the consuls, L. Marcius Philippus, 
led a doughty resistance both in the Senate and outside. In the 
Forum there were scenes in which a Saturninus would have felt at 
home* On one occasion, when Philippus had tried to break up an 
assembly, Drusus set one of his clients on to the consul, who was 
so roughly handled that his nose began to bleed, greatly to his 
political advantage. On another, the unhappy Caepio, whose con- 
duct became almost as violent as that of Drusus, was threatened 
with death by the Tarpeian Rock, In the Senate, too, feeling ran 
high, and reached its climax in September 2 . The circumstances are 
obscure ; but it was possibly because the Fathers had shown a less 
drastic resistance to Drusus than he desired that Philippus solemnly 
announced in public that it was impossible for him to carry on the 
government with such a body of advisers. At a sitting of the 
Senate on 13 September Drusus warmly protested against such 
language, and Crassus excelled himself on the theme of a consul's 
obligations. After some bitter repartee, Crassus moved the House 
to record its firm conviction that its good faith and sound advice 
had never failed the State. But though he had rapped the knuckles 

1 For this view see P, A. Seymour in Eng. Hist, Jiev* xxix, 1914, p. 422. 

2 Cicero, de orat, m s I 9 12, 6. 


of Philippus, he had failed to stem the growing distrust of Drusus 
among the Fathers. This was his last appearance in public life. 
A week later the great orator was dead, and when it lost the aid of 
its most powerful supporter the tribunician programme soon came 
to a standstill. 

The work of Drusus was now seriously complicated by his 
pledges to the Roman allies. It is clear that he had long been 
deeply committed to an attempt at the solution of what was un- 
doubtedly the most pressing problem of the day : indeed it seems 
that from the beginning of his tribunate large numbers of Italians 
had quartered themselves in Rome to agitate in favour of the man 
whose programme, if he kept his word, would culminate in a mea- 
sure enuring to their advantage. One of the most prominent 
leaders of the Marsi, Q. Pornpaedius Silo, actually lived for some 
days as the guest of Drusus in his house ; but, though there is a 
wealth of evidence such as this to show the direction of the tri- 
bune's sympathies, there is no good reason to believe that he was 
the conscious centre of a widespread conspiracy 1 . At first Drusus 
had concealed his designs for an extension of the franchise, but the 
presence of so many Italians in the city was enough to rouse sus- 
picion. As early as the time of the Feriae Latinae, which normally 
were held in April (though in this year there may conceivably have 
been a later celebration), Drusus had betrayed a strange familiarity 
with allied plans by warning Philippus of a plot to murder him 
during the festival on the Alban Mount. Before long suspicion 
hardened into firm belief, until Drusus was soon confronted with 
all the hatred regularly reserved for the authors of a liberal policy 
towards the Italians. But difficult as his position had been made 
by the leakage of his schemes, the need for a measure of enfran- 
chisement had become more urgent through his own activities. 
Not only had he raised hopes to a pitch at which disappointment 
would be most dangerous, but his agrarian and colonial laws, 
which clearly demanded land for their effective application, had 
started the old fears among Italians whose estates might be 
alleged to include ager fublicus populi Romani. Some of these 
people, particularly from Umbria and Etruria, even came to 
Rome to join in the protests of Philippus against the /ex agraria^ 
and of the rest it could be said that, if they lent their support to 
Drusus' programme as a whole, they only did so for the sake of 
the promised concessions to which in the end it was to lead. But, 

1 The oath preserved in. a fragment of Diodorus (xxxvn, 1 1) is a docu- 
ment of the most dubious value, probably produced during the series of 
vindictive trials which followed the outbreak of the Social War, 


whatever bill for the benefit of the allies Drusus had in mind, it 
seems never to have reached the stage of promulgation. As his 
intentions grew clearer,, public opinion set against the tribune with 
increasing strength until at length the Senate responded to the 
pressure of Philippus and struck. 

Like the preliminary measures on land-allotments, colonies and 
the frumentationes, the proposals for reform in the judicial ad- 
ministration had apparently been passed into law 1 when the Senate 
boldly declared the whole legislation of Drusus invalid. The 
reasons for this step are as obscure as its justification. The judiciary 
reform had doubtless disappointed senatorial hopes; and., if it in- 
volved the admission of new members to the House, it may well 
have roused active resentment. But this was not the only ground 
for complaint. At the outset, when he had passed as the Senate's 
man, Drusus had squandered the public resources on political 
bribery to such an extent that he could boast *nemini t se ad lar- 
giendum praeter caelum et cacnum reliquisse' 2 ; and in the later 
stages, on top of this reckless generosity, there had come an 
overbearing insolence which foretold the establishment of a 
tyrannis as odious as anything feared of Gaius Gracchus. Whatever 
its motives, the Senate swept the whole work of Drusus aside by 
a simple declaration that his laws did not bind the Roman People. 

For this drastic step ingenuity could find plausible pretexts* 
The suggestion that Drusus had violated the I^ex Caccilia Didia 
of 98 B.C. 3 need not be doubted, but it must not be taken to mean 
that Drusus had so flagrantly disregarded a very recent piece of 
legislation as to merge all his proposals frumentary, agrarian, 
colonial and judiciary into a single bilL If he was guilty of 
* tacking" at all 4 , the probability is that he had run together the 
whole of his legislation on the judicature both the admission 
of senators to criminal juries and the quite different provision 
whereby Gracchan indices were exposed to charges of corruption 5 . 
But the lex satura was not the only abuse against which the law of 
98 B.C. had been passed, and it is clear that other objections were 
alleged against Drusus' procedure. Auspices had apparently been 
ignored 6 ; there had been earthquakes which, like the wolves of 
Carthage in the time^of Gaius Gracchus (p. 81), might be taken 
as clear signs of the divine displeasure 7 ; and in general there could 
be no denying that the whole business had been transacted to the 

1 Livy, Epit. 71. a ^ viris ill 66 9 5. 

3 Cicero, de domo $ua> 16, 41. * ik. ig y 50. 

5 See E. G. Hardy in C.R. xxvn, 1913, p. 262* 

6 Asconius, p. 69 c. 7 Julius Obsequens, 54 (04). 


accompaniment of frequent violence. All this was more reason 
than enough for declaring the legislation invalid, once public 
opinion had been alienated from its author. 

Drusus accepted the Senate's decision. In spite of all his 
vicarious generosity, the majority of the Concilium Plebis had 
turned against him, and it was useless either to fight in defence of 
measures already passed or to struggle on towards a lex de civitate. 
His tribunate had failed, and before long Drusus was struck down 
by the hand of some unknown assassin. The significance of the 
cause for which he stood may be measured by the gravity of the 
crisis for which his death was the signal. In him the Italians 
lost their last hope of reaching a peaceful settlement of their 
differences with Rome, and now the issue was committed to the 
final arbitrament of war* 

For Drusus it can at least be claimed that he recognized the 
duties of Roman statesmanship and had his eyes open to the most 
urgent problem of the hour. But beyond this it is difficult to go, 
The end for which he set himself to work was undoubtedly most 
difficult to attain : greater men than he had been beaten before 
by the inflexible jealousy which the Roman masses showed to- 
wards their allies. Yet it is difficult to find much material for praise 
in the methods of his choosing. Bribery of the voters was of no 
avail; for they took the bribes and then, when it was empty, 
turned to rend the hand that bribed them. Nor was he any 
more successful in his dealings with the leaders of opinion at 
Rome. All the recorded evidence supports Cicero 1 in his view 
that the fate of Drusus was sealed by the failure of his proposals 
for a reform, of the judicial administration; and the reasons for that 
failure are not far to seek. The experience of Gaius Gracchus had 
been enough to show that Rome of the revolutionary age was no 
place for nicely-balanced compromise : in the * faex Romuli ' poli- 
ticians must depend on one section or another, and hope that the 
party of their choice would for a few months command a majority. 
By his judiciary schemes Drusus earned the undying hatred of 
the rich men outside the oligarchy, and yet he did not go far enough 
to stimulate the enthusiasm of the Senate. His dealings with the 
great political interests of Rome foreshadow the experience of 
Cicero and his Concordia Ordinum. In his outlook, on the other 
hand, and in his methods with the voters he finds his parallel in 
Gaius Gracchus. Both Gracchus and he worked for a settlement of 
the Italian problem, and, though the precedent of Saturninus may 
have authorized a more open form of bribery than was known to 

1 de off. ii, 2i, 75. 


the Gracchan age, Drusus sought to win a following among the 
masses by measures which seem to have been inspired directly by 
the example of his great predecessor. It may even be admitted 
that Drusus had all the high ideals and earnest determination to 
serve the public weal with which the Gracchi had been filled; yet, 
between Drusus and the Gracchi there was a difference of the 
greatest moment. Partly because in 91 B.C. there was no urgent 
social problem like that which had won permanent gratitude 
for the Gracchi when they attacked it with success, and partly 
because Drusus himself was a man of conscious superiority and 
unsympathetic character, he never attained a popularity which 
would serve as the foundation of even a temporary control of 
Roman public life. Drusus was a well-meaning man, but not 
a born leader, and, if comparison is needed with those who had 
gone before, it will be enough to accept the judgment of 
that unknown critic who called him 'a pale reflection of the 
Gracchi 1 . 1 

The history of Rome now becomes a tale of war ; but not even 
the perils of the Italian revolt prevented that settlement of political 
accounts which was the normal sequel to the fall of an outstanding 
politician* One of the new tribunes who entered office on 10 
December 91 B.C. Q, Varius Hybrida by name set himself to 
exploit the indignation felt against those who had in any way 
contributed to the Italian rising as a means whereby the business 
class might win a revenge against the Senate* In defiance of tri- 
bunician veto a court of Gracchani indices was set up to investigate 
the conduct of all who might be alleged to have encouraged the 
allies in their warlike plans. The result was a persecution severe 
enough to teach the Senate its folly in throwing Drusus overboard. 
C. Cotta was an early victim 2 , and Varius even went on to attack 
the unfortunate M. Scaurus, the Prmceps Senatus 3 . But as the 
military position became graver, men appreciated that the time 
was ill-suited for party strife at home, and at length the Senate 
found itself in a position to suspend the court for the duration of 
the war 4 . When at length its operations were resumed, its nature 
and purpose had been changed by the passage of the Lex Plautia 
iudiciaria (p. 196). 

1 ad Herennium, iv s 34, 46. 2 Cicero, Srutus, 56, 205. 

3 Asconius, p, 22 c. 4 Asconius, p. 74 c. 



Ever since the passing of the Lex Licinia Mucia in 95 pre- 
parations for war must have been afoot among the Italians. The 
time had come for them to seize by force the privileges which they 
had failed to acquire by persuasion. In 91 the forthcoming struggle 
was foreshadowed by two events which preceded the death of 
Drusus. First, we are told that the Italians planned to murder 
the consuls Caesar and Philippus when they were celebrating the 
Feriae Latinae on the Alban Mount, and that Drusus warned 
Philippus of his danger. In view of this revelation the Senate no 
doubt decided to ascertain the intentions of the allies and dis- 
patched emissaries to various parts of Italy. Secondly, a certain 
Domitius, probably one of these emissaries, encountered Q. 
Pompaedius Silo, leader of the Marsi and an intimate friend of 
Drusus, marching on Rome at the head of 10,000 armed men, 
and persuaded him to withdraw by an assurance of the goodwill 
of the government. But the murder of Drusus brought matters to 
a head. C. Servilius, a praetor with proconsular powers who was 
on reconnaissance in Picenum, was informed of the exchange of 
hostages between Asculum and another city. His effrontery at 
Asculum was a signal for the massacre of every Roman in the city. 
Thereupon the allies sent an embassy to Rome to complain of 
their continued exclusion from citizenship, but the Senate refused 
to meet them in any way unless they were prepared to make 
amends for the massacre. Realizing, therefore, that they were too 
deeply compromised, they had no choice but to draw the sword. 

A binary league of two groups of cantons, Marsic and Samnite, 
formed the nucleus of the Italians who seceded from Rome, and 
it is probable that a coin bearing the name of Q, [Pompaedius] 
Silo and representing eight warriors swearing alliance may record 
the number of peoples who formed the league : Picentines, Marsi, 
Paeligni, Vestini, Marrucini, Frentani, Samnites and Hirpini 2 , 
Born within the tangle of mountain and glen between the upper 
Anio and the lower Aternus, the revolt spread over the highlands 
of central and southern Italy and was indeed well named the 

1 Ancient tradition ascribed to this war three names, helium Marsicum, 
helium Italicum> helium sociale. The first two names were in general use till 
the end of the first century A.D.; helium sociale did not appear till the second 
century. No doubt helium Marsicum was the oldest name, but helium Itallcum 
was officially used as early as 78 B.C. (C.LL. i 2 , 588). 

2 Volume of Plates iv, 2, h* For a slightly different interpretation ojfthe 
coin see A, v. Domaszewski, Bellum Afarsicum* p. 15* 


Marsic War from that mountain folk whose gallant service under 
the Roman eagles had given rise to the proverb that no triumph 
had been won without them, and whose leader Q. Pompaedius 
Silo is traditionally associated with the creation of the confederacy. 
In Lucania., Apulia and southern Campania ground was soon 
gained by the rebels^ but Etruria and Umbria held aloof for some 
time. Calabria remained outside the war> and in Bruttium peace 
was broken only at the end. The bond which existed between the 
Roman government and the Italian upper classes may explain the 
loyalty of certain isolated communities in the insurgent districts. 
For example. Pinna refused to make common cause with the 
Vestini ; Minatus 1 Magius of Aeclanum, great-grandfather of the 
historian Velleius Paterculus, raised a legion in the Hirpinian 
country and rendered valuable aid to Sulla in 8 9 ; and in Apulia 
the upper classes resisted Vidacilius, Nor did the Greek maritime 
towns and the most favoured communities of allies hesitate to 
adhere to Rome. In southern Campania Roman influence was 
very strong, and the Greek cities of Neapolis, Heraclea and 
Tarentum were so content with their status that later they refused 
incorporation under the Lex Julia (see below, p. 195)* 

The headquarters of the league were established at Corfinium, 
renamed Italia, a Paelignian town, set amid the grandeur of the 
central Apennine,, a strategic centre rather than a fortress. The 
constitution of the league is not a matter of certainty, for the evi- 
dence of Diodorus (xxxvn, *2, 5) and Strabo (v, 241) is incon- 
clusive. The former speaks of two consuls and twelve praetors, of 
a senate of five hundred and, possibly, of an inner council; the 
latter says that the Allies gathered at Corfinium and chose consuls 
and praetors. Two fundamental questions arise in the considera- 
tion of this evidence. Was the constitution of the league modelled 
upon that of Rome, and to what extent did the Italians produce 
a representative system ? These questions have been confidently 
answered in various ways 2 . In the opinion of the present writer 
there is much to be said for the view 3 that the Allies made use of 
existing cantonal arrangements to form a binary league. Their 
generals were apparently chieftains appointed by the cantons with 

1 On this name see F. Miinzer, in P.Jf^, $.*u. Magius, coL 439. 

2 Mommsen, History of Rome, m, pp- 504506, said that the arrange- 
ments of the Allies were a copy of those of Rome and scouted the idea 
of a representative principle which, first suggested by Kiene, Bundesgenos- 
senkrieg, p. 190, has recently found favour with Tenney Frank, Roman 
Imperialism, pp. 301, 3115 Classical Journal* xrv, p. 547. 

3 Domaszewski, op. at. p. 15 $f 


a superior commander, Pompaedius Silo, for the Marsic and a 
superior commander, Papius Mutilus, for the Samnite group; and 
possibly there was a war council at Italia. If this is so we must dis- 
card the statement of Diodorus that the Italians devised a consti- 
tution inspired by Rome and we must regard it as improbable that 
they made use of the representative principle. The Italians, who 
had for long resented Roman exploitation, took up arms against 
tyranny. To establish an independent State and to acquire the 
Roman citizenship were only alternative means and were not ends 
in themselves. 

Their armies consisted of Sabellian and Oscan dalesmen, excel- 
lent fighting material, stiffened by veterans who had seen service 
under the very generals who were to take the field against them. 
Since Rome had command of the sea, the Italians were dependent 
upon their own resources, but the stories of a Cretan bowman 1 
and of Agamemnon a Cilician pirate 2 hint that they gladly pressed 
into service any foreign desperadoes who were temporarily out of 
employment. The idea of help from Mithridates was entertained 
by the Samnite element only as a counsel of despair. 

There was no more significant expression of their defiance of 
Roman authority and of the setting-up of a rival state in Italy than 
the issue of coinage 3 , A personification of Italia, the sovereign 
deity of the insurgents, is most commonly seen on the obverse of 
the coins ; on the reverse there were recorded or symbolized inci- 
dents of the struggle. The coins enliven the meagre records of the 
war by their vivid expression of the spirit of the confederacy. 
There could be no more graphic symbol of Roman reverses than 
the goring of a Roman wolf by an Italian bull. 

Whether the outbreak of revolt was from the point of view of 
the confederates premature or timely, the Romans wefe certaihly 
taken by surprise. The first act of the party which had triumphed 
upon the death of Drusus was to take vengeance upon those whom 
they believed to have been responsible for the revolt, and the sen- 
tences of the commission of high treason established by the Lex 
Varia thinned the ranks of the senators favourable to Drusus. This 
terrorism and the imminence of hostilities produced at least the 
semblance of political unity. The government began to array their 
forces in Italy and to draw reinforcements and supplies from the 
provinces. Their Italian power was formed by the Romanized 
district once inhabited by Sabines and Aequi, Latium, the ager 
Cam-panus and the Roman and Latin colonies. Of the loyalty of 

1 Diodorus xxxvn, 17. 2 Id. xxxvn, 19; Orosius V, 18, 16. 

3 Volume of Plates iv, 2, b 9 c. 


the Latin colonies, exemplified by Alba Fucens and Aesernia, and 
of the outstanding importance of the ager Campanus as a source of 
revenue and a base of operations we have ample evidence. All the 
best harbours were in the hands of Rome. From Cisalpine Gaul, 
where Sertorius himself, already a tried soldier, was quaestor, from 
Spain, Sicily and Numidia came troops and munitions of war; 
from the East some naval aid 1 . To the bitterness and horrors of the 
struggle Diodorus and Sisenna, in particular, bear frequent wit- 
ness, and we hear from another source 2 that the Senate had no 
mercy upon a certain C. Vettienus who cut off the fingers of his 
left hand in order to avoid service. 

The insurgent country was divided into two main theatres of 
war: the northern extended from Picenum to the mountains on 
the south and east sides of the Fucine Lake, the southern included 
Samnium and the rest of southern Italy 3 . In each of these theatres 
a Roman opposed an Italian commander-in-chief, P. Rutilius 
Lupus, who with L. Julius Caesar was consul in 90, took the field 
in the northern theatre against Q* Pompaedius Silo. Under him 
at the outset served five legati^ Cn. Pompeius Strabo, father of 
Pompey the Great, Q. Servilius Caepio, son of the Caepio who had 
been defeated at Arausio, C. Perperna, Marius himself and 
Valerius Messalla, The southern campaign against C. Papius 
Mutilus was entrusted to L. Julius Caesar whose subordinate 
commanders were P. Lentulus, T. Didius, a veteran who had to 
his credit triumphs over Scordisci and Celtiberi, P. Licinius 
Crassus, who had triumphed for victories in Lusitania, Sulla fresh 
from his Cilician command, and M. Claudius Marccllus, who had 
served under Marius at Aquae Sextiae. With the exception of 
Catulus, who may have served in the second year of the war, these 
commanders well represented the cream of the military experience 
at the disposal of the State. 

Much of the energies of the Italians was absorbed by the in- 
vestment of fortresses in their territories which adhered to Rome. 
Although they conducted offensives against southern Campania 
and Apulia we can detect no sign of a concerted movement made 
by them against Latium and Rome. It may be that the Roman 
road-system served the Roman defensive better than the allied 
offensive. The Romans had to counter the enemy in many theatres 
simultaneously, and even if they had been in a position to con- 

1 CJ.L. i 2 , 588. Memnon, 29. 2 VaL Max. vi, 3, 3. 

3 Diodorus xxxvn, 2, 7. The phrase airo TGOZ/ Kep/c&Xwv /ca^oujuSvaw Is 
a puzzle. But the reference may possibly be to the mountain barrier just 
south of Sulmo which divides the Marsic from the Sarnnfte country. 


centrate their forces, it is difficult to indicate any objective where 
success, at any rate in the first year, would have decided the course 
of the war. Recent investigations have indeed thrown light upon 
difficulties and done much to fix a sequence of events and elucidate 
strategy, but there is no reason to upset Mommsen's verdict that 
*a clear and vivid picture of such a war cannot be prepared out of 
the remarkably fragmentary accounts which have come down 
to us 1 .' 

The northern campaign falls into two parts: an offensive 
against Asculum, and operations in the Apennines against the 
Marsic group. The Roman objectives were the isolation of 
Picenum, the relief of Alba Fucens and an attack upon Cor- 

The legate Cn, Pompeius Strabo, a large land-owner in Picenum, 
was naturally marked out to command there and to avenge the 
massacre at Asculum. The possession of this strong fortress and 
road-centre would help the insurgents to spread revolt in Umbria 
and northern Etruria and to deny to Rome an important line of 
communication with Cisalpine Gaul. Moreover, Rome would not 
relax her efforts until the blood of her murdered citizens had been 
avenged. It is, therefore, not surprising that for the best part of 
two years there was hard fighting for the possession of this city. 
It appears that Strabo met with a rebuff upon his arrival before 
Asculum 2 . An army of Picentine and Marsic rebels commanded 
by C. Vidacilius of Asculum, T. Lafrenius and P. Vettius Scato 
forced him to retreat northwards. He was defeated in the moun- 
tains near Falerio and driven to Fir mum. While Lafrenius re- 
mained to invest Firmum, Vidacilius and Vettius Scato withdrew 
to other theatres of war. How long Strabo remained pent up in 
Firmum we cannot say. But the situation was changed by the 

1 The authorities for this war are numerous but unsatisfactory. For a 
continuous narrative we rely solely upon Appian (.S*?//. Civ. 1, 38 5 3); sketches 
of the outlines are given by Velleius Paterculus, the Epitomes of Livy and 
Orosius. The contribution made by Cicero is large, but is less noteworthy 
than might be expected. Plutarch is scanty and disappointing. Much valu- 
able information is to be found in Diodorus, Strabo, Frontinus and Pliny the 
Elder; occasional details are supplied by Dio, Florus and other late 
writers. Very few inscriptions have survived, but the coins minted by the 
Italians and the sling-bullets found at Asculum are interesting and valuable. 
The loss, therefore, of the history of L. Cornelius Sisenna (11967 B.C,), 
which contained a narrative of the war, is to be deplored; the surviving frag- 
ments are occasionally illuminating and always tantalizing. 

2 Orosius v, 1 8, 10; Frontinus, Strat. in, 17^ 8. 


arrival of relief under a certain Sulpicius 1 who may well have come 
with reinforcements from Cisalpine Gaul and who co-operated so 
successfully with Strabo that Lafrenius was defeated and the siege 
raised 2 . Asculum was at once invested by Strabo. No doubt this 
success contributed to the election of Strabo as consul for 89. 

There can be little doubt that at an early stage in the war the 
insurgents laid siege to Pinna, a city of the Vestini, where the up- 
shot of bitter party strife was that the city remained loyal to Rome. 
A siege was endured and we are told that the gallantry of the 
garrison rivalled that of the defenders of Alba Fucens 3 . In all 
probability Pinna fell, and, if so, the authority 4 which makes the 
Romans the besiegers may well refer to an incident of the Roman 
counter-offensive in 89. 

Operations against the tangle of mountain and valley around 
the Fucine Lake, the stronghold of the Marsic group, were under- 
taken by the consul P. Rutilius Lupus and his legates. Although 
the records of these campaigns are so imperfect that we cannot 
fix the site of a single battle, it is natural to expect fighting on and 
around the two lines by which the Marsic group could invade 
Latium, namely the upper Liris and the Via Valeria which be- 
tween Caxsioli and Alba Fucens cuts through the Apennines by 
the Monte Bove Pass (4040 feet). We know that the insurgents 
at once laid siege to Alba Fucens,, and, as the territory of Carsioli 
was devastated in the war 5 , the Marsi must have swept down 
through the Monte Bove Pass upon that fortress. No doubt there 
was a struggle also for the possession of Sora, the Latin fortress 
which secured the upper Liris 6 . 

At the outset the Romans sustained reverse upon reverse. 
First, Perperna was routed by Presenteius. He lost his command, 
and the remnants of his army of 1 0,000 were transferred to Marius. 
Worse was to follow. The consul was obstinate enough to scout 
the advice of Marius that his levies should be trained and dis- 

1 The ingenious suggestion of Cichorius (Romsche Studim* p. 138) that 
this officer was Servius Sulpicius Galba who rendered distinguished service 
under Strabo in 89 and who in all probability was the fourth member of 
Strabo's constlium at Asculum (Dessau 8888) is here accepted. 

2 Livy, Epit. 73, mentions a victory over the Paeligni. Servius Sulpicius 
should be read as the victor and not, as Domaszewski proposes (<?j>. cit. p. 25), 
Sextus Julius Caesar. The effect of the victory was to free Pompeius at 
Firmum, It is possible that Paeligni is a mistake for Picentes and that Appian 
(Bell. Civ. i, 48, 210) gives a garbled reference to the same victory, 

3 ad Herennium u, 28, 45. * VaL Max. v, 4, 7, 

5 Florus n, 6 (m, 18), , Servius, ad Am. ix, 587. 


ciplined before they were rushed into battle. Accordingly, on June 
nth the valley of the Tolenus was the scene of a pitched battle 
between Lupus and Vettius Scato in which the consul was de- 
feated with heavy loss and killed. Although Ovid's 1 statement 
that the battle was fought on the Tolenus renders valid any suitable 
site in the whole valley from Carsioli down to the confluence 
with the Himella between Reate and Interamna 3 it is tempting to 
suppose that Rutilius was endeavouring to force the crossing of 
the Tolenus between Carsioli and the western exit of the Monte 
Bove Pass and break through the Pass to the relief of Alba. Of 
Appian's account of the battle it is enough to say that Rutilius was 
lured by Vettius Scato into an ambush on the north bank of the 
river where he was mortally wounded and 8000 of his men were 
killed. But Marius, who was in position farther down the valley, 
observing from the bodies brought down by the stream that 
Rutilius and Scato were in action, crossed and captured Scato 's 
weakly guarded camp with the result that on the following day 
the rebels were forced to retreat through shortage of supplies. 
Moreover, the statement of Orosius (v, 18, 13) that Marius' 
troops straightway slew 8000 of the enemy strongly suggests that 
he counter-attacked successfully. If so, he had indeed retrieved 
the situation. However, the exhibition in Rome of the bodies of 
the consul and of other fallen officers so depressed the public spirit 
that the Senate decreed that in future the fallen should be buried 
where they fell. Nevertheless, the chief command was withheld 
from Marius. A success gained by Q. Servilius Caepio, a violent 
opponent of Drusus, was an excuse for dividing the command be- 
tween Marius and him. But Q. Pompaedius Silo with a force of 
Marsi and Vestini lured Caepio into an ambush where the Roman 
lost his army and his life 2 . Thereupon Marius assumed sole com- 
mand. His outstanding achievement was a great victory gained over 
the Marsi and Marrucini, possibly in Marsic territory. The rebels, 
who were the aggressors, were driven in flight to some vineyards 
and sustained heavy losses when scaling the walls. Later, their 

1 Fasti* vi, 5636. This passage enables us to fix the date. Appian, Bell. 
Civ. i, 43, 191, wrongly puts the scene of the battle in the Liris valley. 

2 Orosius v, 1 8, 14, Although Caepio may have fallen when attempting 
a surprise relief of Alba from the north it is easier to suppose that the defeat 
took place nearer Rome, especially as part of the tombstone of some members 
of the gens Sergla who fell quom >. Caeplone est occisus has come to light QJI 
the Via Laurentina outside the Porta S. Paolo (C.LL. i 2 , 708). Appian, 
therefore, may be mistaken in saying that it was after the defeat of Rutilius 
that the burial order was suspended. 


rout was completed by Sulla 1 , who intercepted the fugitives when 
endeavouring to escape and cut them to pieces with the loss of 
Herius Asinius, general of the MarrucinL 

The net result of the operations against the Marsic group en- 
titles us to doubt the truth of Plutarch's statement (Marius, 33) 
that Marius lost reputation in the war. Compared with his col- 
leagues he had rendered notable services. The deplorable situation 
created by the defeats of Perperna, Lupus and Caepio had been 
repaired, the enemy's territory had probably been invaded 2 , and 
heavy loss had certainly been inflicted on the Marsic rebels. But 
we are left to speculate upon the fate of Alba Fucens. 

Meanwhile the armies serving in the southern theatre under 
the consul L.Julius Caesar were confronted by tasks bewildering in 
their variety. To maintain communications between Rome, Cam- 
pania and the south, to check the spread of revolt and to defend 
fortresses threatened by the insurgents were among the most pres- 
sing. Our knowledge, however, of operations in the southern theatre 
is confined to the siege of Aesernia, the invasions of southern 
Campania and the spread of revolt in Apulia and Lucania. 

It is not surprising that the insurgents immediately assailed the 
colony of Aesernia, which commanded the road down the Apen- 
nines from Corfinium to Beneventum, by which the northern 
rebels could communicate with central and southern Samnium, 
and from which, by a branch road through Venafrum, they could 
threaten Roman communications with Campania by the Via Latina. 

L, Caesar's first attempt to defend Aesernia was disastrous, 
He was heavily defeated, presumably in the upper Volturnus 
valley, by the ubiquitous P. Vettius Scato, who then marched to 
Aesernia and began or continued the blockade. Determined but 
unsuccessful attempts at relief were made, perhaps by Caesar 3 
himself and certainly by his legate Sulla 4 . The former was heavily 
defeated by Marius Egnatius, possibly in the Volturnus valley 
south of Venafrum; the latter gained some success but had to 
abandon the city to its fate. Fragments of Sisenna (16 P.) and 

1 Appian (Bell, Civ. i, 46, 2012) may be wrong in associating Sulla with 
this victory, but as Sulla's name occurs elsewhere only twice in our records of 
the campaigns of go, namely in connection with the siege of Aesernia, he may 
have served on the northern flank of the southern command and have been 
able to co-operate with Marius. 

2 In the opinion of the present writer this is a fair assumption from 
Diodorus xxxvii, 15 (o Mdpios ijjaye rrjv S-uvapiv Ircl TO *S<avviT&v ?re8/W) 
after allowance is made for the geographical error in yLavvt,r>v (he must 
mean the Marsic country). 3 Appian, BelL Civ* i, 45, 200. 

4 Orosius v, 1 8, 165 Frontinus, Sir at. i, 5, 17 


Diodorus (xxxvii, 1 8) bear witness to the horrors of the siege: the 
garrison drove their slaves out of the city and when their food was 
exhausted ate the flesh of dogs and other animals. Thus reduced, 
the gallant commander M. Claudius Marcellus capitulated to the 
Samnites before the end of the year. 

While the Romans were in distress in the upper Volturnus 
valley, an invasion of southern Campania was carried out by a 
Samnite army under C. Papius Mutilus, who saw that successes 
in that rich and populous territory would cut Roman land com- 
munications with the south and east and would menace the ager 
Camganus^ mainstay of the Roman treasury and base of the southern 
armies. Moreover, the insurgents would derive great advantage 
from the capture of part of Campania and Its coast, a rich prize. 
At the outset the invasion was successful. Treachery placed in his 
hands Nola on the Via Popilia 20 miles south-east of Capua. From 
Nola he captured Stabiae, Salernum and Surrentum, pressing 
prisoners and slaves into his army, Nuceria regained loyal to 
Rome, but other towns in the neighbourhood, including Pompeii 
and Herculaneum, fell before him. Master, therefore, of a large 
army and of the greater part of southern Campania he laid siege 
to Acerrae. But there he was confronted by L. Caesar, whose army 
after its misfortunes in the Volturnus valley had been reinforced 
at Teanum by 10,000 Gallic foot and by horse and foot from 
Numidia. At the outset Papius succeeded in undermining the 
loyalty of the Numidians, who deserted in such numbers that they 
had to be disbanded 1 . Hostilities then opened. Papius attacked 
Caesar's camp, but was surprised and routed with the loss of 6000 
men. Upon this success Caesar was hailed imp era 'tor , and the 
wearing of civilian dress was resumed at Rome. Touch is tjhen lost 
with the war in Campania. Caesar mus.t have left br Rqme, where 
he held the elections and carried through the Lex Julia. 

One result of the Samnite drive into Campania was that a 
Roman army in Lucania under P. Licinius Crassus was cut off, 
and rebellion in south-eastern Italy spread as it pleased. The 
Lucanians had begun by seizing a Roman emissary, who owed to 
a woman his escape from the danger of such an end as that of 
Servilius at Asculum, Then Crassus was defeated by the Lucanian 
general M* Lamponius and driven to Grumentum, his camp being 
set on fire and his army barely escaping <-lestructio;aA It is even 
highly probable that he did not succeed in saving the town itself 
(see below, p. 200). In Apulia Rome sustained severe losses 
through the enterprise of Vidacilius, who had dashed down from 

1 Appian, Bell. Civ* i, 42, 189. a Frontinus, Sfrat* n, 4, 16^ 

C.A.H. ix 13 


Picenum and won over many cities, including Cannsium and the 
strong fortress of Venusia, thereby cutting Roman communica- 
tions with Brundisium, In these cities the upper classes who stood 
by Rome were put to death,, but the lower classes and the slaves 
joined the insurgents. Thus the allies had conducted their cam- 
paigns in southern Italy with vigour and success. 


The hostilities thus far described produced a grave situation, 
although as the year advanced the Romans recovered somewhat 
from the disasters which had marked the beginning of the war. 
Matters were made no better by the news that Mithridates was 
menacing the province of Asia and that the governor of Trans- 
alpine Gaul was having trouble with the Salluvii. It was significant 
of the exhaustion of Rome's resources that freedmen had to be 
enrolled to guard the coast from the city to Capua. Thus a wide- 
spread and determined revolt in Etruria and Umbria, where loyalty 
had so far prevailed, would have rendered this situation intoler- 
able; land-communications with Gaul and Spain would have been 
cut, a large area would have been added to the territory of the con- 
federacy, and in Italy Rome would have been at bay. There can be 
little doubt that the northern confederates in the flush of success 
strained every nerve to engineer revolt in Etruria and Umbria* 
The prospect of revolt there and the situation elsewhere forced 
the hand of the government: citizenship was offered to those 
allied communities that remained loyal, an offer which was ac- 
cepted by the Etruscans. Apparently there was some fighting in 
Etruria 1 , but if we may judge from the silence of Appian no 
serious operations. The probability is that, although the offer of 
citizenship averted a general rising, military action had to be taken 
against certain communities which actually revolted. 

This offer was made in the nick of time. When L. Julius Caesar 
returned from Campania to hold the elections for 89 he found 
that adversity had been preparing the way for concession, and the 
Lex Julia which the consul carried before retiring from office, is 
proof that the Italians had indeed cut their way into the state by the 
sword. The law offered full Roman citizenship to all Latins and 
to all communities in Italy which had not revolted 2 . It was to 

1 Livj% Epit* 745 Orosius v, 18, 17. 

2 Appian, BdL Civ. i, 49, 212; Cicero, pro Ealbo, 8, 215 Qellius, N.jf. 
iv, 4, 3. It is sometimes assumed from Veil. Pat. u, 16, that communities 


whole communities not to Individuals that the offer was made, and 
a decree accepting citizenship had to be passed by each com- 
munity before the law could take effect. We also know that under 
the Lex Julia it was possible for citizenship to be won as a reward 
for distinguished service In the field 1 . The Lex Julia was followed, 
probably very soon after the tribunes of 89 had come into office, 
by a supplementary statute, the Lex Plautia Papiria 2 , which pro- 
vided that any man who was on the register of an allied com- 
munity and whose permanent home was in Italy, might acquire 
Roman citizenship by making application to a praetor in Rome 
within 60 days from the date of the passing of the law. This law 
enabled citizenship to be acquired by individual members of allied 
states which had not accepted incorporation under the Lex Julia, 
Moreover, it does not seem unreasonable to say that the law also 
applied to members of allied states still in revolt, because It was 
clearly in the interest of Rome, now that the principle of con- 
cession had been accepted by her, to attempt to divide and weaken 
the Insurgents* forces by a short-term offer which would en- 
courage desertions before the campaigning season re-opened. 

In consequence of tjbiese concessions it was found necessary to 
frame a special statute to meet conditions prevailing in Cisalpine 
Gaul. Although the population immediately south of the Po had 
originally been largely or mainly Celtic and this racial distinction 
was marked by a line running from the Arnus on the west to the 
Aesis on the east, it is certain that the whole peninsula up to the 
Alps was regarded as Italy, many colonies both Roman and Latin 
having been founded In it and most of the other towns having be- 
come members of the Italian confederacy. It is true that the 
country north of the Po was thoroughly Celtic, but between con- 
ditions prevailing south of the Po and those in northern Etruria 
and Umbrla there could have been little, if any, difference. The 
operation of the Lex Julia in north Italy meant the promotion of 
all the Latin colonies to the rank of Roman municipia. Moreover, 
all the other towns would have been elevated to that status had not 
a special statute been framed, the Lex Pompela 3 , which confirmed 

which had revolted but laid down their arms could acquire citizenship by the 
Lex Julia. Although the words qm arma . . * deposuerant maturius could be 
interpreted in this sense, it could apply equally well to those individuals who 
'were enfranchised under the Lex Plautia Papiria shortly afterwards. 

1 C.I.L. i 2 , 709 and p. 714; Dessau 8888. A Lex Calpurnia (Sisenna 
frag. 1 2,0 P.), presumably passed in 89, dealt also with this topic. 

2 Cicero, pro jfrchza, 4, 75 Schol. Bob. p. 175 StangL 
s Asconius, p. 3 c.$ Pliny, 2V.U. in, 138. 



the grant of citizenship already made to the Latin colonies by the 
Lex Julia, conferred the ius Latii upon the Transpadane towns 
and 'attributed' native tribes to the urban communities 1 . 

The value of the franchise to the Italians was impaired, it is 
true, by the restriction of the new citizens to eight of the existing 
thirty-five tribes 2 . This narrow-minded cunning was to overreach 
itself and revealed the limitations of senatorial statesmanship; but 
the concessions, whether or not they all took effect before the 
opening of the campaign in 89, exercised a profound influence 
upon the course of the struggle. Though hard fighting still lay 
before them, the Romans could count themselves certain of 
ultimate victory: in resources, leadership and morale they could 
hardly fail to prove superior. On the other hand, the insurgents 
could not expect a repetition of their early successes; their num- 
bers would diminish rather than increase, their unity would suffer 
from Roman concessions, their leaders would realize that they 
were championing a losing cause. But allied loyalty and Roman 
pride, simplest of human emotions, prolonged the struggle till 
Asculum had paid the penalty and the thinned ranks of the rebels 
saw no choice other than surrender or death. 

Meanwhile at Rome, whether because the war made it difficult 
to man the courts or as a reaction against the vindictiveness with 
which the war began, the Lex Plautia iudiciaria 3 introduced a new 
principle in the choice of judges; each tribe elected 15 of its own 
members without regard to their class or quality, and from the 
list of 525 men thus elected, jurors for this year were to be drawn. 
By a stroke of irony the Lex Varia now recoiled upon its author, for 
Q. Varius himself was brought to trial under his own law and 

In 89 Cn, Pompeius Strabo and L, Porcius Cato were consuls. 
Strabo continued his command in Picenum and Cato succeeded 
Mar ius on the Mar sic front. Mar ius disappeared from the war, 

1 It is possible that the Lex Pompeia was no less than the lex provinciate 
of Gallia Cisalpina (so E. G. Hardy, J.R.S* vi pp. 65 sgrg.). See however, 
below, p. 301. 

2 Veil. Pat. n, 20. Certainty between this statement and the conflicting 
^yidence of Appian* BelL Civ, t, 49, 214, for a new group of ten tribes is im- 
possible. The tantalising fragment of Sisenna (17 p.) 'L. Calpurnius Piso ex 
senati consulto dua$ novas tribus . . * may refer to a separate enfranchisement 
of those who had distinguished themselves on the side of Rome (see frags. 119, 
1 20 P). It is however possible that Velleius intends to speak of eight new 
tribes and that these with the two mentioned by Sisenna make up Appiajn's 
ten; see T. Rice Holmes, Roman Republic, i, p. 356* 

3 Asconius, p. 79 c. 


If we are not prepared to believe Plutarch's 1 statement that he re- 
signed his command owing to age and infirmity, we must suppose 
that his retention in the field was not acceptable to the party in 
power. Sulla, still as legatus^ took over the troops left by L, Julius 
Caesar in Campania, 

At the outset the Romans sustained a reverse on the Marsic 
front. In spite of insubordination among his men 2 Cato pene- 
trated as far as the Fucine Lake, but was defeated and killed. 
Strabo then extended his command over the Marsic front and 
thanks to his legates Murena, Metellus Pius and Sulpicius, over- 
came the failing opposition of the enemy. 

In Picenum all turned on the siege of Asculum, where both 
sides concentrated every available man. The inscribed sling- 
bullets 3 found in such profusion on the site are interesting from 
a human no less than from a statistical standpoint; no doubt the 
messages scratched upon them -feri Pomf\eium\^ em tibi malum 
malo y ventri added to their efficacy as missiles. The story of the 
latter part of the siege seems to transport us back to the heroic 
days of the Samnite wars, the issue of which was decided on a field 
not so very far from Asculum (vol. vn, p. 612). The bold thrust 
of the Samnites before Sentinum was repeated : a prodigious effort 
was made to cut through the Apennines, relieve Asculum. and join 
hands with fellow rebels in Umbria and Etruria, It is not in- 
credible that in the battle which decided the destiny of Asculum and 
the northern rising 7 5,000 Romans fought against 60,000 Italians 4 . 
A force of Marsi seems to have survived the rout, only to be cut 
to pieces by Pompeius Strabo in some mountain pass. It was 
winter, for the fugitives took to the heights and perished in the snow. 

Perhaps in the course of this battle the heroic Vidacilius btoke 
through the Roman lines and forced his way into his native city. 
But latr the situation within and without drove him to a dramatic 
suicide. The city must have fallen to Strabo on or before November 
iyth, and the massacre was at length avenged. All officers and 
leading men were scourged and beheaded; the rest of the popula- 
tion were allowed to leave the city, free but destitute; slaves and 
loot were sold under the hammer. We hear that the proceeds of 
the auction were not remitted by Strabo to the treasury 5 , and that 
the financial strain at the time was so severe that sites around the 

1 Marius, 33. 2 Dio xxx-xxxv, frag. 1065 Sisenna, 52 P. 

8 For the fullest list see E. Lommatesch in C.LL. i 2 , pp. 560 sqq. 
Illustrations are given by C. Zangemeister, Glandes plumbeae latme inscrifitae* 
Eph. Epig. vr, 1885, pp. 5-47. 

4 Veil. Pat. ir, ax, i. 6 Orosius v, 18, 26. 


Capitol in the occupation of the priestly colleges had to be sold* 
The enfranchisement by Strabo of thirty men of a squadron 
of Spanish cavalry for services rendered during the siege is a land- 
mark in the history of western civilization. The inscription 1 which 
records this act is the principal addition made by the present cen- 
tury to the ancient evidence for the Marsic War, and the list which 
enumerates the members of the general's concilium seems to con- 
tain the names of such personalities as Lepidus, consul in 78^ 
Catiline, and a Cn. Pompeius who cannot be other than Strabo 's 
seventeen-year old son who became Pompey the Great. 

On December 2^th 89 Pompeius Strabo celebrated his triumph 
de Asculaneis Picentibus* Among the captives marched a young 
Picentine, P. Ventidius, who was himself destined to lead Par- 
thians in triumph fifty-one years later. After his triumph Strabo 
returned to the field as proconsul in order to extinguish any flames 
which might burst out anew from the dying embers of the con- 
spiracy in the north. 

Of the remaining operations against the Marsic group it is 
impossible to give a detailed version. They were profoundly in- 
fluenced by the siege of Asculum and by the Roman offensives in 
Campania, Samnium and Apulia. It is highly improbable that 
organized opposition outlasted Strabo's triumph, because the land 
of the Marsi and their neighbours must have been drained of 
fighting men by heavy losses and especially by efforts to relieve 
Asculum* We may sxtppose that by the end of 89 the Marsi had 
surrendered to Strabo's legates L. Murena and Q, Caecilius 
Metellus Pius, son of Metellus Numidicus, and that Sulpicius had 
subdued the Vestini and the MarrucinL Moreover, when the 
Paeligni turned upon their leader P. Vettius Scato, and would 
have handed him over to Strabo had not his slave slain him on the 
spot 2 , it was time for Italia to be abandoned and for Pompaedius 
Silo, undismayed by the collapse of the northern rising, to fly to 
the mountains of Samnium. War against an Italian confederacy 
had ceased; the Samnite cantons with Lucanian help alone re- 
mained in the field. 

We pass to Campania, where Sulla was in command and where 
his generalship soon loosened the grip which the Samnites had 
won in the previous year. Siege was laid to the coast towns* 

^ 1 C.LL. i 2 , 709 and p, 714 (== Dessau 8888). Cichorius conjectures (op. 
czt. p. 1 33) that the name of the cavalry squadron Turma Sfllluitana may come 
from that of its commander (perhaps Salvitto), not from a place in Spain, 
On Strabo's title imperator see A, Momigliano, in BulL Com* jtrch* i-vin, 
1930, pp. 45 sqq. 2 Macrobius, Sat. i, n f 24, 


Before Pompeii, where the Roman fleet operated by sea and a 
legion enrolled from the Hirpini by Minatus Magius of Aeclanum 
lent welcome aid on land, there was a notorious example of in- 
subordination. Mutiny broke out in the fleet commanded by a 
legatus A. Postumms Albinus 1 , who was done to death with sticks 
and stones. The disciplinary action taken by Sulla was marked by 
characteristic adroitness; he merely exhorted the mutineers to 
atone for their crime by gallantry in action. Nor was abstract 
justice expedient at the moment^ for a strong Samnite army under 
Cluentius was straining every nerve to relieve Pompeii. But Sulla's 
generalship and luck prevailed. In the decisive battle Cluentius' 
troops, reinforced by Gallic deserters from the Roman armies, 
broke and fled towards Nola. Few only gained the city. With this 
victory came the turn of the tide. On April 29th Stabiae was cap- 
tured by Sulla 2 . On June nth T. Didius and Minatus Magius 
stormed Herculaneum 3 ; and thus isolated, Pompeii must soon have 
fallen. Nola alone seems to have been held by the enemy when 
Sulla left for his campaign in Samnium. 

This brilliant manoeuvre dealt telling blows against the Sam- 
nites and must have aided the operations in Apulia and Lucania. 
Sulla first marched against the Hirpini and captured two of their 
cities, Aeclanum and Compsa. At Aeclanum he forestalled the 
arrival of help from LAicania by giving the inhabitants one hour's 
notice of battle ; he then set fire to the wooden walls and captured 
the city. Bursting into central Samnium by an unexpected route 
he surprised the Samnite commander, Papius Mutilus, and drove 
him in rout to Aesernia. This success enabled him to strike at 
Bovianum Vetus, a principal city of the Samnites and a rebel head- 
quarters, which fell after a short engagement. Leaving an army 
to blockade Nola, he went to Rome to. stand for the consulship, 
In Apulia a competent legate^ C. Cosconius, recovered practically 
all the ground which had been lost to Vidacilius in the previous 
year. He burned Salapia and crushed a Samnite army on the 
northern bank of the Aufidus near Cannae. Winning freedom of 
movement by these victories he ravaged the territories of Larinum, 
Ausculum and Venusia and secured the undulating moorlands 
which lie north of the Via Appia between Venusia and Tarentum. 
At the end of the year he was succeeded by Q. Caecilius Metellus 

1 Since he Is called consularls (Orosius v, 18, 22) he must be the consul of 
99, who in 1 10 had done so ill against Jugurtha (p. 121). 

2 Pliny, N.H. in, 70. 

3 Didius fell in the assault, Ovid, Fasti, vi, 5678. In any event, Hercu- 
laneum, like Pompeii, cannot have held out for long. 


Pius, fresh from his successful campaign against the Marsi. In 
Lucania two legates, A. Gabinius and Carbo, were In the field. 
Gabinius captured several towns, but fell at the siege or the storm- 
ing of a place which may well be Grumentum, probably lost in the 
previous year 1 . 

The disruption of the confederacy and the abandonment of 
Italia were the natural results of the operations in 89. Of the 
Italian manhood which had risen against Rome thousands had 
made a sacrifice which had won for many of their comrades the 
prixe of Roman citizenship. Others who had surrendered too late 
to benefit by the franchise legislation, were in the position of 
dediticii awaiting Rome's pleasure. But the man who above all had 
been the soul of the insurrection, Q. Pompaedius Silo, undismayed 
by the capitulation of his own people, fled to the Samnites and in- 
spired them to further resistance. The Samnite cantons, therefore, 
under their own leaders, with Pompaedius as Commander-in-chief, 
continued the struggle and once more sought to force Rome to 
recognize that independence which they had lost two centuries 
before. The headquarters of their organization were established 
at Aesernia, the fortress that once had curbed their freedom. An 
army was raised of 30,000 infantry and 1000 cavalry. If, as we 
are told, 20,000 manumitted slaves were enrolled, then the Sam- 
nites in their despair must have encouraged a servile rising. The 
movement soon met with success, for the commander-in-chief re- 
captured Boviaftum Vetus and entered the city in triumph* But 
their fortunes changed in the course of the year. Various con- 
flicting summaries of the operations are given, and we can be 
certain of nothing more than the final result, the defeat and death 
of Pompaedius Silo in a decisive battle. The time was then ripe 
for the surrender of Venusia which capitulated to Metellus after 
having remained in possession of the insurgents for about two 
years; over 3000 prisoners gave themselves up. According to Dio- 
dorus (xxxvii, 2, 1 1) it was at that point that the rebels as an act 
of despair in vain sent ambassadors to Mithridates entreating him 
to invade Italy in their interest. But with the fall of Pompaedius 
Silo, the Samnites were no longer a danger. Nola indeed and 
Aesernia remained in the hands of the rebels, while the guerrilla 
chieftains Lamponius and his colleagues roamed at large in the 
solitudes of Lucania. When these last had been repulsed before 
Rhegium by Norbanus the governor of Sicily the curtain falls 
upon the last act of the Mar sic War. 

1 The recovery of Grumentum by the Romans is deduced from Claudius 
Quad ri gari us frag* 8 o j . 



By the end of the year 89 B.C. the military crisis was passed. 
In several parts of the peninsula embers from the conflagration 
still smouldered on ; but the danger had been mastered, the plans 
for reconstruction had been sketched, and in 88 B.C. Rome could 
begin to face in detail the problems which were the legacy of the 
war. This task she approached under the leadership of consuls 
whose past gave little cause for hope that they would handle 
the issues of the day with the statesmanship which alone could lay 
sound foundations for the future. One was L. Cornelius Sulla, 
whose sole claim to the suffrage of the People lay in his dis- 
tinguished services in the wars of Africa, Gaul, Asia and Italy; 
the other was Q. Pompeius Rufus a man remarkable for nothing 
but the part he had played as tribune in securing the recall from 
exile of Metellus Numidicus. Consuls such as these were not the 
men to extort from a reluctant Senate a large-minded and liberal 
answer to the questions with which the newly united Italy was 
be^et. To Sulla had fallen the Eastern command, and his one 
anxiety was to set out with the least possible delay: Pompeius 
Rufus, who was to remain in Italy, showed no sign of activity. 
And thus it happened that the initiative in legislation was left to a 
member of the tribunician college. 

P. Sulpiclus Rufus, who modelled his style of speaking on that 
of the great Crassus now two years dead, is acknowledged by 
Cicero to have been an orator unrivalled by any of his contem- 
poraries, save only by C. Aurelius Cotta. These two, alike in their 
forensic pre-eminence, were alike in their politics as well: they 
both belonged to that progressive section of the nobility whose 
wisdom was to be a sheet-anchor to Rome in the stortny years to 
come, and whose traditions were the earliest and most powerful 
influence on the mind of Cotta's second cousin Julius Caesar. 
Both had supported the younger Livius Drusus in 91 B.C., and 
Sulpicms was on terms of intimate friendship with Pompeius 
Rufus, the consul. Of a man like Sulpicius it was not to be 
expected that he would turn into a revolutionary, and at the elec- 
tions it seems that he commanded the oligarchical vote. Yet before 
the year was out he had undergone so startling a change that the 
senatorial tradition preserved by Diodorus, Plutarch and Appian 
regards him with an aversion usually reserved for open enemies. 
The injustice of this attitude is suggested by certain inconsistencies 
which it betrays ; but it is the testimony of Cicero and of the author 


of the treatise ad Herennium which reveals that, surprising as were 
the lengths to which he went, Sulpicius was no mere irresponsible 
demagogue. From these authorities it appears that in the early 
days of his tribunate his conduct was beyond reproach ; and, though 
he later fell from grace, the change was not one to justify his con- 
demnation out of hand, however well it merited the hatred of the 
extreme conservatives* 

The political history of the year 88 B.C. opened with a proposal 
from some iinknown quarter for the recall of all the exiles who had 
been banished unheard either by the Varian Commission or by 
the court established under the Lex Plautia of 89 B.C. 1 : against 
this Sulpicius, for some reason which is difficult to discover in a 
friend of Livius Drusus, interposed his veto 2 . But soon afterwards 
there came a transformation; and though Sulpicius earned sena- 
torial admiration by one other achievement in this year when he 
prevented C. Julius Caesar Strabo, who perhaps coveted the 
command against Mithridates for himself 3 , from standing for the 
consulship before he had been praetor the rest of his activities 
were of a kind on which optimate eyes looked with the gravest 
disapproval. The famous Leges Sulpiciae were four two of them 
of minor significance, one dangerously controversial, and the fourth 
a bold and beneficent proposal which entitles its author to a place 
of honour in the history of his time. It was a small matter that 
senators in debt to the extent of 2000 denarii or more were to lose 
their seats in the House; norwould the recall of theexiles asimple 
and salutary measure of reconciliation call for notice, had not 
Sulpicius himself been foremost in opposing it earlier in the year. 
But it was otherwise with the demand that Sulla should be re- 
moved from his command in the Mithridatic War and that it should 
be conferred on Marius in his stead. 

It could, indeed, be urged that Marius was the most dis- 
tinguished general then alive: it might even be maintained that 
Rome had never produced a greater. Yet, on the other hand, Sulla 
had by this time proved his worth beyond dispute; and, unless 
there had been some unrecorded failure to observe the provisions 
of the Lex Sempronia de provinciis consularibus, he held the 
Asiatic command by a title which in the absence of some con- 
stitutional tour de force nothing but his death or the abrogation 
of his imperium could destroy. Moreover, even if it be untrue that 
Marius had returned to Rome after his victories in the Social 
War because he could no longer stand the rigours of a campaign 

1 Seep. 196. 2 ad Herennmm n, 28, 45* 

3 Diodorus xxxvii, 2, 12. 


(p. 197)5 the fact remained that he was approaching seventy and 
had reached an age when his appointment to the East would be 
something of a speculation. The sudden support lent by Sulpicius 
to the ambitions of a veteran whose reluctance to admit the signs 
of advancing years combined with his jealousy of Sulla to fill him 
with desire for the Eastern command must be ascribed to political 
considerations. It may be conjectured that the tribune, seeing the 
need for strong backing in the Concilium Plebis if the obstructive 
tactics of the Senate were to be met, turned to that large body of 
voters whom the name of Marius could stir as nothing else. 
Marius was not only a man of the people, whom the masses could 
trust more readily than any Optimate; he was more even than a 
great soldier who retained the allegiance of his veterans. Besides all 
this, he was the first and most famous of the fopu/ares (pp. 137 $q <7-)> 
and for that reason to the votes of plebs urbana he could join the 
backing of the upper classes outside the Senate classes whose 
support we know that Sulpicius was ultimately able to command. 
Thus the help of Marius could not be despised, and all of it was 
needed; for Sulpicius, in the greatest of his laws, proposed a 
change which could not fail of the most bitter opposition, 

The claim of Sulpicius to an honourable place in history rests on 
his bill to distribute the freedmen and the new citizens over all the 
thirty-five tribes. The limitations of the Lex Aemilia of 115 
(p. 96) were to be abolished; and, what was far more important, 
Rome was fairly to face the effects of the Social War. About the 
question of the freedmen there is little to be said. In numbers 
they were comparatively few, and, since the passing of the Lex 
Papiria tabellaria in 131 B.C. (p. 38), they could no longer be 
controlled by their patrons the only people to whom the freed- 
men's votes can have been of serious value. Their inclusion in the 
measure of Sulpicius was perhaps no more than the expression of 
a belief that the time had gone when any particular section of the 
population could reasonably be confined to a few selected tribes. 
But it was not the freedmen who gave this bill its significance : the 
people whose treatment was of vital importance were the new 
citizens who had won the franchise in the war. Unlike the freed- 
men, they were numerous ; and, because their numbers might have 
counted had they been incorporated evenly in all the tribes, Roman 
jealousy had tried to destroy their influence by confining them to 
a small minority (p. 196). It was an expedient typical of the 
Roman at his worst : with one hand the deltas was bestowed, with 
the other the ius suffragii was rendered nugatory. But sharp 
practice such as this is apt to recoil on its authors, and it was per- 


haps well for Rome that Sulpicius called attention to the trick 
before it had bred a grievance in the minds of its victims. His 
proposal, the proposal of a man who stood in the direct line of 
succession from Gaius Gracchus and the younger Livius Drusus, 
was that the enfranchisement of the allies should be accepted with 
all its implications. The vexatious restrictions of the year before 
restrictions which in their constitutional aspect were an attempt* 
by grafting the Italians on to the existing citizen-body instead of 
merging them therein, to preserve such traces of the Roman city- 
state as could still be saved were to be withdrawn. Man for 
man, the new citizens were to be equals of the old. And the citizen- 
ship of Rome, no longer Roman in anything but name, was to be 
the citizenship of Italy. In fact, if not in theory, Italy was not to 
be the territorium of Rome : Rome was to be the capital of Italy. 
The city-state, in brief, was at an end. 

The justice of this measure needs no demonstration, but fairness 
to its author demands that the circumstances of its proposal be 
examined with care. The narrative of Appian, definitely oli- 
garchical in its bias-j encourages the inference, which has often 
been drawn, that Sulpicius urged a distribution of the new citizens 
throughout the tribal body merely in order to increase the power 
of voters who, from gratitude for this reform, would lend valuable 
support to its author when the issue between Marius and Sulla 
came to be decided. But Appian himself 1 , and Plutarch too 2 , give 
the impression that the constitutional proposal and the trans- 
ference of the Mithridatic command were enacted, if not simul- 
taneously, at least in such quick succession that there can have 
been no opportunity to carry out the complicated task of re- 
distributing the new citizens before the vote was taken on the 
question of the Eastern appointment. The supersession of 
Sulla by Marius, if it was to happen at all, could only reasonably 
be carried out at once, before the opening of the campaign ; and in 
that case the struggle would be over before the complicated task 
of re-organizing the tribes could even be begun. More probably 
the bill about the new citizens was regarded by Sulpicius as an end 
in itself; and it is because, if this view be right, he set himself to 
secure this beneficent reform for its own sake, that Sulpicitis de- 
serves the reputation of a serious statesman. In the excellence of 
his chifcf objective he can claim some extenuation of the dangerous 
concessions made to his ally Marius, without whose help there can 
have been little chance of carrying forthwith so controversial a bill. 

The programme of Sulpicius was greeted with howls of in- 
1 BelL Civ. i, $6 9 249. a Marius, 35, 4, 


dignant protest. Honest dislike of fresh generosity to the Italians 
combined with the personal loyalties which centred round the 
figures of Marius and Sulla to produce a political crisis of the ut- 
most gravity. It was a crisis only ended by an expedient which 
ushered in the last phase in the decline of the Republic. There was 
the inevitable recourse to violence. Sulpicius is alleged to have 
surrounded himself with 600 young equites and, besides these, to 
have maintained a body of 3000 men at arms. About the forces on 
the other side our authorities are discreetly vague, but it is unlikely 
that the consuls and their friends passed about the streets of Rome 
without the precautions which prudence advised. When the situa- 
tion grew threatening, Sulla and Pompeius Rufus threw down a 
direct challenge to the tribunate. They announced an indefinite 
suspension of public business (iustitium\ and thereby seem to have 
claimed for the consulship ^potestas so great as to be capable even 
of blocking the legislative activities of the tribunes 1 . Sulpicius 
retorted that such action was illegal, and certainly no precedent 
could be quoted ; for the action of Tiberius Gracchus as tribune 
was irrelevant (p, 25). But Rome in 88 B.C. was no place for 
constitutional niceties. Soon there came a clash in the Forum. 
Pompeius Rufus got away., though his son was killed,, and Sulla 
is said to have sought safety in the house of his rival Marius an 
incident which later he was at some pains to explain. Whether he 
actually owed his life to Marius or not, he was somehow induced 
to terminate the iustitium and forthwith set out for the more 
tranquil atmosphere of his camp at Nola. 

No sooner had the consuls disappeared than the whole pro- 
gramme of Sulpicius was passed into law. For a moment the 
populares were supreme ; but their triumph was brief. When mes- 
sengers were sent to Nola. with instructions to bring the afrny 
north to meet Marius, its new commander, they found that Sulla 
had been before them : the troops would not change their allegiance, 
and the envoys of Sulpicius were stoned to death. For the first 
time in history a Roman army had declared war on the government 
in Rome, and from that moment politics in the city became a mere 
phantom rout, condemned to fade away whenever a successful 

1 This account, which is derived from Plutarch (Sulla 8, 3), is perhaps 
slightly preferable to the version of Appian (JBelL Civ. i, 55, 244), who may b<? 
thought to suggest that the consuls were conscious that they did not wield a 
maior fotestas against the tribunate and endeavoured to make good the lack 
by proclaiming, as was certainly within their power, a series of ferine tm~ 
perativae* during which no business could be conducted. See, pjpt this 
question, M. A. Levi, Sill&> pp. 1637, with the authorities 


general took the stage, Sulla was soon in motion. With six legions 
at his back he started northwards, yielding his own qualms about 
a seizure of the city to the encoxiragements of the soothsayers and 
the enthusiasm of his men. Marius and the government at Rome 
were defenceless against such a force. Deputations, indeed, they 
were not slow to send; but even two praetors, who undertook one 
such mission, barely escaped with their lives. Of troops, however s 
they had none: almost without resistance Sulla and Pompeius 
Rufus entered Rome. For a few hours there was street-fighting 
on the Esquiline, hours few indeed, but enough to allow Marius 
to incur a disgrace to which not even Catiline would stoop 
the disgrace of summoning the slaves to arms and promising free- 
dom to those who came. Even so., there was no response; for the 
issue was already decided, and before the day was done Marius 
had fled and Sulla was undisputed master of the city. Thus for 
the first time Rome was captured by a Roman army, 


Yet this did not exhaust the novelties of the year : the citizens 
had another new experience when government began to be 
conducted by a military despot. It is true that Sulla remained 
consul, and as consul he carried on his task. He even observed 
the forms of constitutional procedure. But it was a new thing for 
measures of a most drastic kind to be forced through the assemblies 
without argument and without the possibility of resistance; and 
the reason for all this was the army at Sulla's back. At the outset) 
we may assume, though the narrative of Appian is here obscure, 
the Senate was compelled, by an act of doubtful legality and one 
against which Scaevola the Augur protested (though not on legal 
grounds 1 ), to declare Marius, his son, Sulpicius, still a tribune of 
the Plebs, and several of their leading supporters to be enemies of 
the Roman People, whose lives might be taken with impunity and 
whose property was forfeit 2 . It was a strong measure and a 
dangerous precedent. The victims had certainly been guilty of 
inciting the slaves to rise, and they had indubitably flouted the 
authority of the consuls; but even so they were not an obvious 
menace to society, and to proclaim them outlaws straight away was 
little less than to deprive Roman citizens of their right to trial 
merely because crime was alleged against them. As a result, 

1 Val. Max, in, 8, 5, 

2 Veil. Pat. (n, 19, i) is alone in suggesting that this decision was em- 
bodied in a law. 


Sulpicius was murdered. Marius, however, made his way to 
Minturnae and thence escaped to Africa. Thereupon the Leges 
Sulpiciae were declared to have been carried per vim 1 - and to be, 
accordingly, invalid. The argument, we may conjecture, was that, 
though the iustitium had ended before their enactment, its ending 
had been forced upon Sulla by the threats of the mob. 

After these preliminaries Sulla was free to set about the legisla- 
tion of 88 B.C., for which Appian 2 is virtually our only source 
of value. The measures which he ascribes to Sulla on this 
occasion have provoked many unnecessary doubts; but, if the 
circumstances of the time are properly appreciated, their accept- 
ance becomes easy, if not inevitable. That a record of these laws 
should have been preserved by Appian alone is hardly surprising, 
the less so when it is remembered that our other outstanding 
authority Plutarch in his Life of Sulla does not even trouble 
to describe the legislative work of Sulla as dictator. In any case, 
the reforms of the years from 8 1 to 79 B.C. so far exceeded in im- 
portance whatever may have been achieved in 88 B.C. that it is 
scarcely strange if all but one of our meagre authorities regarded 
and rightly regarded the later legislation as Sulla's real monu- 
ment, which alone was entitled to permanent record. Such a view, 
indeed, is just. After his return from the East Sulla undertook a 
drastic reform of the Roman constitution: in 88 B.C., before his 
departure, he neither accomplished nor essayed anything of the 
kind. In his first consulship, after the struggle with Marius and 
Sulpicius, time was short: it was his urgent duty to start for the 
Mithridatic War with the least possible delay. The most he could 
do before leaving Rome was to patch up the defences of his party 
position, and this he attempted by a few simple measures crude, 
indeed, but effective, and of a kind which could be drafted in a 
few hours. Since they were designed to meet the dangers of the 
immediate future until the time of his own return to Italy, it would 
be a grave mistake to assume that all these laws, which were re- 
pealed by Cinna in 87 B.C. 3 , were re-enacted by Sulla when he 
had leisure as dictator for a thorough re-casting of the constitu- 
tion. If this be so, it is idle to criticize Appian *s version of the laws 
of 88 B.C. on the ground that some of them, at least, were demon- 
strably not in force during the years immediately after 79 B.C. : the 
only sound objection which could be taken to Appian's account is 
one to which that account is not exposed the objection that the 
measures are too complicated or too petty for Sulla to have had the 

1 Cicero, Phil, vnr, 2, 7. 2 BelL Civ. i, 59, 266-8. 

3 Appian, BelL Civ. i, 73* 339- 


time or inclination to pass them when he was urgently needed in 
the East. 

The programme was brief. First, by a return to an arrange- 
ment of the kind which had prevailed in law until the passing of 
the Lex Hortensia in 287 B.C. (vol. vn, p. 553) and in normal 
practice to the time of Tiberius Gracchus, it was ordained that 
nothing should be brought before the People without the previous 
approval of the Senate. About the application of this law there can 
be no shadow of doubt: if it affected the tribunes at all, which is by 
no means certain, the remotest acquaintance with Sulla's attitude 
to the curule magistrates at the time of his dictatorship is enough 
to show that, as Appian implies, it affected consuls and praetors as 
well. After all, if Marius himself held office again, it would not be 
as tribune but as consul VII* Secondly, there was a law to the effect 
that all business 1 submitted to the People should be submitted to 
the People in their Centuries. The Comitia Centuriata, wherein 
wealth wielded its strongest influence, was to be the only active 
assembly of the Populus Romanus: the Comitia Populi Tributa 
was condemned to idleness, and the Concilium Plebis was 
apparently to do nothing but elect its tribunes. 

Though Appian hints at other limitations to its power, the tri- 
bunate itself remained : Sulla had no need to risk the fearsome 
penalties of the plebiscimm passed by M. Duillius against those 
who left the Plebs without its champions (vol. vn, p. 48 1). But, if 
the view here maintained is right, the tribunes lost their initiative 
in legislation. Lacking, as they did, the ius agendi cumpopulo^ they 
were debarred from submitting rogationes to the Comitia Centuriata, 
which was now to be the only legislative body. And so it may be 
said that by the first of Sulla's laws the law which required that 
every project put before the People should receive preliminary 
approval from the Senate not the tribunes, but the curule magis- 
trates were to be brought under control. But to give the Senate a 
veto on legislation was futile unless that body was strong enough 
to defend its rights and to use them with effect. For this reason, 
and also because it was the Senate which, during Sulla's absence, 
would have to lead the resistance to Marius and his friends, it was 
essential that the Senate should be strong: and at this time it was 
weak. The censors now in office would at best recruit the House 
to its normal size of 300 or thereabouts ; but this was not enough. 
Accordingly, the consuls took measures of their own whether 

1 The word used by Appian is xeiporovlai, and this has often been taken 
in its narrower sense of Voting at elections/ More probably it means 
voting of whatever kind, as e.g. in Bell Civ. i 23, 995 49, 214 j 53, 231. 


by passing a law or not we do not know to authorize the addition 
of 300 members more. Thereby the Senate would be raised to 
twice its former size, and, by this infusion of new blood, its 
strength could scarcely fail to be increased. The plan did credit to 
the wisdom of its author, but it may be doubted whether it was 
given effect. To select three hundred candidates for positions so 
responsible as seats in the House was a task requiring time : it can 
hardly have been more than begun when Sulla left Rome, and his 
departure was the signal for a rapid recrudescence of the turmoil 
in which the quiet work of ordinary administration was dropped 
forthwith. Probability is in favour of the view that the new 
senators were never chosen, and this conclusion is confirmed by 
the fact that Appian records another measure to the same effect 
when Sulla had returned to Italy. 

Such were the rough and ready methods whereby Sulla sought 
to ensure the political supremacy of his friends during the period 
of his own absence in the East. The scheme looked well enough on 
paper as good as any paper scheme could be. But what if some 
second Sulla arose on the other side ? For all his care, the Senate 
was as impotent when Marius marched an army to the gates of 
Rome as it had been a few months before when Sulla himself had 
seized the city. The legislation of 88 B.C. is evidence, perhaps, for 
Sulla's political position, if evidence for that be needed; but it is 
a trivial episode, and one which gives no clue to the greatness 
which its author was to display when the dictatorship gave him 
leisure to re-organize the State, 

Though they were certainly the most important, it is unlikely 
that these were the only laws passed by the consuls of 8 8. Festus 1 
preserves a fragmentary reference to a measure about debt a 
measure which perhaps limited the rate of interest to 1 2 per cent* 
per annum and the Epitome of Livy 2 records that colonies were 
founded. The Epitomator is silent about their purpose; but it is 
more likely that Sulla was looking forward to the time when the 
soldiers now under arms would need settlement on the land than 
that these places were intended for the newly-enfranchised Italians, 
Speculation, however, is vain; and there is only one other point 
which calls for notice. During the excitements of the year, the 
citizens of Rome had raised one feeble protest against the new 
military tyranny. At the elections for the magistracies of 87 B.C. 
two candidates were rejected, of whom both had Sulla's special 
favour and one was his own nephew. Of the consulships, one 
indeed was safe in the hands of Cn. Octavius a loyal Optimate 

1 p. 516 JL. 2 Epit. 77, 

C.A.H. ix 14 


and possibly nephew of M, Octavius, the hero of 133 B.C.; but 
the other went to a man of very different complexion L. Cor- 
nelius Cinna, who, though he had lately been serving as legatus to 
Metellus Pius, was known to have leanings towards the Marian 
side. Sulla took these rebuffs in sporting spirit, but he betrayed, 
his fears of Cinna by forcing him to swear a mighty oath, that he 
would preserve a friendly attitude towards Sulla and his cause. 
After this solemn farce 1 , Sulla set out for his army and the East- 
the more readily, it was said, because his colleague Pompeius 
Rufus had suddenly been murdered. Rufus had been appointed 
to succeed Pompeius Strabo as commander of the forces in 
Picetmm; but the change was resented by the men, and, with a 
licence which was soon to be familiar, they had killed their new 
general in order to keep the old. Such was the devotion of the 
armies to their leaders. It was a devotion which recked little of 
duty to the State; but it had its value for the favoured few. The 
legions of Sulla had already shown that in their keeping he was 
safe: so to them he went. Cinna was left to do his worst: almost 
before Sulla's back was turned he sped the consul's- going with a 
threat -of prosecution v- 

1 For Cinna's view of the oath see Sallust, Hist.i, 26 M.~*nihil esse de 
re publica neque Hbertate populi Romani pactum.* 




A SI A Minor is divided by nature and has been divided by 
/^history into two parts. There is the western seaboard which, 
with its mild climate, its fair and rich river-valleys and excellent 
harbours, looking towards the open Aegean whence came the 
civilizing influences of Hellenism, may fittingly be called Anatolian 
Greece. In contrast with this, there is the eastern interior, which 
has for its home waters the landlocked Black Sea, once an Iranian, 
Scytho-Persian lake, and which looked to the East and lived the life 
of the neighbouring Oriental monarchies 1 . Of this part (which also 
included Armenia, Comniagene, Galatia, Lycaonia and a part of 
Phrygia) Pontus or Pontic Cappadocia, the nucleus of the 
Mithridatic empire, and Great or Tauric Cappadocia form the 
western sector. These Cappadocian lands were once the centre of 
the eastward-looking Hittite empire; then, after that empire 
broke up, there came anarchy, until in due course they became 
part of the Phrygian empire and later a satrapy of Persia. Even 
after Alexander, these Eastern-Anatolian fragments of the Persian 
empire remained closely connected with the East, with the 
Seleucid empire and also with that of Parthia, and absorbed very 
little Greek life and civilization* 

Cappadocian PontuS, including thie mountains of the Paryadres 
and Paphlagonia, occupies a peculiar position among the lands of 
Eastern Asia Minor. Though closely connected with the rest and 
showing the same general geographical features, the northern part 
of Cappadocia, the mountainous land along the southern shore of 
the Black Sea and the regions north and west of the deep channel 
of the *red' or 'salt* river Halys, is more diversified climatically, 
more varied but with less violent contrasts than the adjoining 
Cappadociati plateau, of which the northernmost section was also 
regarded as belonging to Pontus. The mountain ranges which 
branch off the Caucasus and run west parallel to the southern 
shore of the Black Sea are intersected by rivers which work tjbteir 

1 On these connections see R. Dussaud, La Lydie et ses voi$ln$ aux 'ffaufos 



way painfully through the mountains towards the sea. Short and 
swift in the east they become longer and less torrential the more 
we advance towards the west. Three of them the Thermodon, 
the famous river of the Amazons,, the Iris and the Halys form 
in their lower courses wide fertile deltas which are the only 
points in the Pontus where the mountains recede from the shore 
and where the coast affords safe harbourage from the storms and 
winds of the inhospitable sea (Pontus Axeinos). 

Behind the coast the country is a sequence of river-valleys, 
wide or narrow, of broad lakes, of gentle hills, of high mountains 
with green slopes, often covered with groves of trees 5 including 
wild fruit-trees, and rising to bare rocks and peaks* The climate in 
these mountains and by the shore is much milder than that of the 
Cappadocian table-land, so hot in summer and so bitterly cold in 
winter, and the soil is much more fertile. Pontus had the reputa- 
tion of being a rich land : cattle, sheep and horses, crops and fruits, 
especially grapes and olives and the famous Pontic nuts and 
cherries a name said to be derived from Cerasus, a Greek city on 
the coast and an amazing profusion of flowers and aromatic 
shrubs are enumerated as characteristic products. 

Still more important was the fact that the eastern part of 
Pontus was very rich in metals : first and foremost iron, but also 
copper and silver. It was the mining district par excellence of the 
ancient Near East including Egypt; and the almost unanimous 
tradition of the ancient world ascribed the 'invention* of iron and 
steel to the clever smiths of the Chalybes, It was this wealth in 
metals which, above all, governed the historical destinies of Pontus. 
For hundreds of years caravans had carried its metals to Assyria^ 
Babylonia, Syria, Phoenicia and Palestine, and even to the shores 
of the Sea of Marmara and of the Dardanelles and to the western 
coast of Asia Minor, It was, however, not long before the Greeks 
realized to the full the advantage of using the Black Sea for the 
export of metals into their home countries. It was the beginning 
of Greek colonization of its southern shores. Sinope and Trapc- 
zus, the first a clearing-house for commerce in metals, the second 
the harbour of the raining districts, were the earliest founda- 
tions in this region, and they kept this trade in their hands for 
centuries. Next was settled Amisus, the Athenian Piraeus of the 
Black Sea, a rival of Sinope for the trade with the Crimea and the 
South Russian Greek settlements, and, last of all, Heraclea and 
the towns which later combined to form the city of Amastris much 
farther to the west on the Bithynian coast, communities which 
set themselves to compete with Amisus and Sinope alike. 


With, the Greek cities came Hellenic life and culture. Were it 
not for the comparatively detailed descriptions of Strabo we should 
know little about them before the Roman period, for no one of 
these cities has been excavated, nor have they been often visited 
and studied by modern archaeologists. But we may fairly deduce 
that they resembled other Black Sea colonies, and we can be 
certain that their presence made the life of the coast Greek. Yet 
for a long time the hellenized coast remained the fringe of a land 
that was alien and designed by nature to remain so. From time 
immemorial the land of Pontus has turned its back to the sea. 
The mountains rarely slope gently down to the coast, and most 
of the rivers are either not navigable at all or for a short stretch 
only of their course. The hellenization of the coast had no signi- 
ficance for the economic development of Pontus as a whole ; it was, 
indeed, dictated by considerations that had almost nothing to 
do with Pontus, except for the minerals produced in one remote 
corner of it. Thus the prosperity of these Greek cities is not the 
index of the prosperity of the hinterland and was not dependent 
upon it. As the inland valleys and mountains of Pontus meant 
little or nothing to these Greek cities, so these cities did little or 
nothing to influence the culture of Pontus. 

Thus even after the Greek colonization of the coast, the politi- 
cal, social and economic structure of the interior remained almost 
exactly what it had been in the Hittite period. It was of the 
same Anatolian character as that which is plainly to be detected 
in Seleucid Asia Minor and Pergamum (see vol. vn, p. 176; vol. 
viu, chap, xix). But nowhere else in Asia Minor was it so well 
preserved in Hellenistic and early Roman times, and for no other 
region (except Commagene) have we so full and trustworthy a 
description of it as we have for Pontus and Cappadocia. For 
Pontus was the native land of Strabo, and his exceptionally detailed 
account of it affords evidence which is here in place, since this 
structure was the backbone of Pontic strength in the period of 
the Great Mithridates. 

It was in Cappadocia proper that this order of things existed 
in its purest form. The land was ruled by kings and subdivided 
into ten districts or strategiai each with its own governor. Two 
governorships alone Tyana and Cilicia had urban centres. The 
capital of Cilicia Mazaca or Eusebeia (in the Hellenistic period) 
-was the national metropolis, the fortified residence (like a 
military camp) of the king. No cities existed in the rest of Cappa- 
docia 1 . Most of the people lived in villages, or in what Strabo 

1 Strabo xir, 537. 


calls komopoleis or polichnia. Even more characteristic were the 
strongholds mostly built high up on hills and mountains. Some 
of them were held for the kings and gave security to the royal 
possessions and slaves and serfs, while others rendered the same 
services to the friends of the king or the leaders (Jiegemones)^ feudal 
barons of the country. 

Another typical feature of Cappadocia were the temples. Four 
leading temples are described with great detail by Strabo; the 
temple of Ma at Comana, of the Cataonian Apollo,, of Zeus 
Venasios, and of Artemis Perasia. Another temple of Zeus near 
the mount Ariadne is mentioned by Diodorus (xxxi, 34) as rich 
and important enough to be pillaged by Orophernes in 158 B.C. 
(vol. viu, p. 522). Some of the temples, such as that of Apollo, had 
daughter foundations scattered over the countryside. All had the 
same character. The fullest description is given by Strabo where 
he speaks of the temple of Ma at Comana. * In this Antitaurus/ 
he says (xn, 535), 'there are deep and narrow valleys, in which are 
situated Comana and the temple of Enyo, whom the people there 
call "Ma," It is a considerable city; its inhabitants, however, 
consist mostly of the divinely-inspired people and the temple- 
slaves who live in it. Its inhabitants are Cataonians, who, though 
subjects of the king, in most matters obey the priest. The priest is 
master of the temple, and also of the temple-slaves, who on my 
sojourn there were more than six thousand in number, men and 
women together. Also, considerable land belongs to the templej 
and the revenue is enjoyed by the priest. He is second in rank in 
Cappadocia after the king; and in general the priests belonged to 
the same family as the kings.' 

The social and economic structure of the Pontic region 1 was* 
apart from some modifications which will be mentioned later (p. 
223), almost exactly the same as that of Cappadocia* The king's 
residences were scattered all over the country. The capital city of 
the Mithridatid dynasty was Amasia, who&e citadel w&$ held by a 
garrison under the command of a military governor (jbhrourarchosf** 
No man was allowed to enter the citadel without a special per- 
mission of the -phrourarchos^^ who often was an eunuch 4 . In the 
citadel were the palace of the kings and a large altar, dedicated no 
doubt to the divine protector of the dynasty the Iranian Ahura- 
maxda, slightly heflenized under the name of Zeus Stratios. 
Rockcut tombs beneath the citadel contained the mortal remains 

1 Strabo xn, 540 saq. 2 O.GJ.& 365; Sfudia Pontica, in, no, 94. 

3 Studia Pontica^ iL no, 278. 

4 Ammianus Marcelllnus, xvt, 7, 95 c Plutarch, Demosthenes, 25, 


of the first four Mithridatidae. The rulers who preceded them had 
dwelt elsewhere, as in the strongholds of Gaziura and Cabeira 1 . 

Like Cappadocia, Pontus was subdivided into districts of 
provinces called eparchies as in Parthia, probably with strategoi as 
governors 2 . As in Cappadocia, fortified strongholds both of the 
kings and of the nobles were scattered all over the country, Strabo 
mentions the Kainon Chorion^ Ikizari (or Kizari) 5 Sagylion, 
Kamisa 5 Pimolisa and Kimiata, The owners of these castles, the 
feudal barons,, were most of them of Iranian origin ; one of them 
known from a Greek inscription is called Pharnabazus, while his 
vassal bears a Greek or hellenized name JMeriones 3 , No cities 
existed in Pontus except the Greek cities of the coast. Those which 
are mentioned in our sources as Greek cities, not as native quasi- 
cities, were created by the Mithridatid dynasty and will be dealt 
with later. The typical form of settlement was the village. The 
rich plain near Amasia had the name of Chiliokomon (thousand 
villages) and we are told that Murena overran in one raid four 
hundred villages (p. 353). 

Temples of exactly the same character as those of Cappadocia 
play a great part in the life of the country. It is interesting to note 
that though these were dedicated to gods of various origin (the 
Cappadocian Ma, the Anatolian Men Pharnaku, the Iranian 
Anaitis with her two acolytes, and the hellenized Zeus Stratios), 
they all were organized in the Oriental fashion with a chief priest, 
with a large number of sacred slaves or serfs of both sexes, some of 
the women slaves being temple-prostitutes, and with vast stretches 
of land from which the income went into the treasury of the temple 
or the chief priest. Near the large komopolis of Ameria was 
situated the temple of Men, a god important enough to play the 
leading r61e alongside the Tyche of the king in his royal oath. 
The temple at the large village of Coitiana in Ponttis was the 
counterpart of that in Cappadocia, Comana itself was the chief 
emporium for commerce with Armenia, and the temple^ with its 
6000 sacred serfs, and the town were noted for their luxury and 

1 Strabo xn, 547, 556, 

2 Cf. the inscription Studia Pontica* m, no, 66, 1. 37, and Th. Reinach, 
ib. p. 85. The inscription mentions vm-ap^iaim Paphlagonia, andReiriach, 
contrary to his former opinion, was inclined m 19 10 to correct the e 

of Strabo xn, 560 (on which the statement in the text is based) into v 

The present writer sees no reason for such a correction. The Pontic 

were probably subdivided into f)7rap%iai* On Parthia, see M. I. Rostovtzeff 

and C* B Welles, jt Parchment Contract of loan from Dura^Europus, Yale 

Classical Studies, n, 1930, p. 49. 

3 Studia Pontlca y ib, no. 95 # 


dissipated life, a paradise for soldiers and for merchants. No 
less famous was the temple of Anaitis near Zela. The excavation 
of one or more of the Pontic or Cappadocian temples, which 
has hitherto not been attempted, would throw a much needed 
light on the organization and culture of these great centres of 
Anatolian life. Of the variety of races which lived together, the 
various cults which met in the Pontus are eloquent and our 
sources speak of twenty-two languages spoken in the region, a 
fact which indeed is not surprising in view of the many languages 
which were in use during the Hittite period. 

Such in short was the land which was organized into a solid 
state by the efforts of the dynasty of the Mithridatidae of which 
the greatest representative was Mithridates VI Eupator, who at 
last, in 89 B.C., ventured to challenge the power of Rome, 


It is beyond doubt that the dynasty of the Mithridatidae, which 
ruled in Pontus from at least 302 B.C. until the last offspring of 
it, Darius, son of Pharnaces II, was removed from the throne, 
belonged to the highest Persian nobility (their claim to be de- 
scendants of the Persian king has, of course, no foundation), to a 
family which was connected with Asia Minor for many genera- 
tions. The identity of the earliest two representatives of the family, 
Mithridates and Ariobarzanes, is still a matter of controversy. It 
seems, however, more or less certain that the Mithridates whose 
end was reported by the historian Hieronymus 1 was one of the 
lesser city-dynasts of Asia Minor of the late Persian and early 
Hellenistic period. His city was Cius on the Propontis. Whatever 
his early history may have been, in the closing years of the fourth 
century, when he was more than eighty years of age, he supported 
Antigonus and planned to betray him. Whether he was at that 
time with Antigonus or in his own city of Cius while his son, also 
named Mithridates, was with Antigonus, or whether both of them 
were in Antigonus' camp we do not know. So much is certain, 
that the king became suspicious and decided to get rid of his 
former allies, both father and son. Warning was given of it to 
the younger Mithridates by his friend, the prince Demetrius, who 

1 Of the birth of the Pontic kingdom there existed in ancient historical 
literature a complete and reliable account, that of Hieronymus of Carclia. 
His statements, however, in the hands of later writers, became hopelessly 
confused, and as a result we are still trying to find the way of restoring the 
account of Hieronymus in its original version. 


was almost of the same age, and Mithridates fled, perhaps to- 
gether with his father, who was soon killed either on his flight in 
Paphlagonia, or near his own city. 

In the turmoil of the events after Ipsus Mithridates the younger, 
who established his residence in Paphlagonian Kimiata, one of the 
Pontic strongholds, gradually succeeded in building up for him- 
self a kingdom which he successfully defended against Seleucus L 
Whether, however, he or his father is to be regarded as the founder 
(ktistes] of the kingdom and dynasty is a matter of controversy. 
Almost all modern scholars are inclined to give the credit to the 
younger Mithridates, but this opinion must be revised in the light 
of an inscription which, though several times published, has not 
been taken into account by recent historians of the Pontic king- 
dom 1 . 

The problem is closely connected with the question of the 
Pontic Era. It is known that Mithridates the Great used an era 
which started with the year 297 B.C., the first year of the Bithy- 
nian Era 2 . This era was still in use in the Bosporan kingdom in 
imperial times, and we have a synchronism which admits of no 
doubt as regards its starting-point. The same era was apparently 
used by Eupator's predecessor and father Mithridates Euer- 
getes, as is shown by an inscription found at Ineboli (Abonutei- 
chos) and dated by the king Euergetes and the year 161 of an 
unknown era 3 . If this era be the Bithynian and Pontic Era, the 
inscription belongs to the year 137/6 B.C. If we assume the 
Seleucid Era, the adoption of which by the Mithridatidae is per- 
haps less difficult to explain than the adoption of the Bithynian 
Era, then the date corresponds to 151 B.C., a date which fits equally 
well, since Euergetes was no doubt ruling as early as 149. 

The era of Euergetes may then be either the Bithynian or the 
Seleucid. But, twenty years ago, the important inscription men- 
tioned above was found in the ruins of Chersonesus in the Crimea 
(see further below, p. 22, i). It contains the oaths taken by the city 
of Chersonesus and a king Pharnaces of Pontus and is dated as in 

1 The inscription from Chersonesus, first published and discussed by R. Chr . 
Loeper, Bull, de la Comm. Arch.* xi,v, 1912, pp. 23 sqq.\ cf. E. H, Minns, 
Scythians and Greeks, p. 646, no. 172 (c p. 51 8 and p. 590, n. i)$ los. P.E. 
i 2 , 402. 

2 Loeper, Bull, de PInst. jfrch. Russe de Constantinople,, vm, 1903, 
pp. 159 sqq. (in Russian), is of the opinion that both the Bithynian and the 
Pontic Era started with the same year, because the rulers of both realms 
assumed the royal title in this year, a little later than the other Hellenistic kings. 

3 Loeper, tb. vm, 1902, pp. 153 $qq.> Th. Reinach, Num. Chron. v, 
1905, pp. 113 jyy. 


the year 1 57 of the era of Pharnaees. This era cannot be the same 
as that used by Eupator., for if it is the Bithynian, it gives the date 
140 B.C., when Pharnaces I was long dead and buried, and 
Pharnaces II was not yet born; and if it is the Seleucid, it gives 
the date 155, which is also too late for Pharnaces I, since his 
brother and successor Mithridates Philopator Philadelphus was 
ruling in 156*. The era of Pharnaces must then have some other 
starting-point, which may be discovered. A treaty between 
Chersonesus and Pharnaces is most intelligible if it followed 
closely upon the war which raged from c. 1 83 to 179 B.C. between 
Pharnaces and a coalition of Anatolian states. In the peace which 
ended the war Chersonesus was included, and it seems logical to 
connect the treaty of the inscription with the peace-treaty, and to 
place it about the year 179. If that is so, then the era used by 
Pharnaces will begin in 336 B.C,, which is precisely the year in 
which, according to Diodorus, the elder Mithridates began to rule 
in Cius. From this it follows that Pharnaces used an era which 
went back to the rule of the elder Mithridates and thus treated 
him as the founder of the dynasty 2 . Why Mithridates Euergetes 
changed to the Seleucid or the Bithynian Era and why Eupator 
used only the Bithynian we cannot tell. If then we place the ruler 
of Cius at the head of the dynasty as Mithridates I, it becomes 
possible to avoid the expedient of inserting a hypothetical Mith- 
ridates into the list of the kings in order to make Eupator what 
our sources declare him to have been, the sixth Mithridates and 
the eighth king of Pontus 3 . It also becomes possible to explain 
the number of royal graves at Amasia, the capital of the early 
kings. There are four of these and a fifth still unfinished. It was 
Pharnaces I who moved to Sinope and probably was buried there 
so that the unfinished fifth tomb may well be his; and if so the 
other four just suffice for the elder and younger Mithridates, 
Ariobarzanes and Mithridates the father of Pharnaces 4 * 

We may then assign to the younger Mithridates the credit, not 
of founding the dynasty, but of building up the power of Pontus* 
His endeavours, as those of his immediate successors, were directed 
towards the same goal as those of his neighbours of Bithynia, 

1 Polybius xxxm, 12. This argument holds good unless we assume not 
only that Pharisees and Mithridates Philopator ruled together, but that 
Polybius omitted the name of Pharnaces and that Philopator enjoyed only a 
very short reign after the brother's death. 

2 This was first suggested by Loepcr. 

3 Appian, Mithr. 9 arid ill; Plutarch, Demosthenes* 4, 

4 See the list of Pontic kings at the end of the volume. 


Pergamum and Cappadocia. Amid the political chaos of the times 
they sought to extend their borders and, above all, to include 
within them as many Greek cities as possible. From time to time 
in the course of these endeavours the Pontic kings emerge for a 
moment into the light of history, and it is possible to detect some 
of the stages in the growth of the monarchy from its beginning to 
the accession of Mithridates VL 

It is not known when they succeeded in adding to their king- 1 - 
dom the city of Amisus and its rich territory inhabited by people 
who in Roman times were reputed excellent agriculturists 1 . In 
about 255 B.C. 2 Amisus was certainly dependent on Mithridates 
III, since the city supplied the king and his army with grain sent 
through Heraclea at the time of a Gallic invasion. Since, how- 
ever, the Pontic kings never thought of making the city their 
capital, it seems that Amisus retained a good deal of its autonomy 
and probably was, at least in theory, an allied not a subject city* 
It is equally unknown when the Pontic kings, while leaving alone 
for the moment the territory of Sinope, first reached the coast to 
the west of that city. Since Amastris was given to Ariobarzanes, 
the son and co-ruler of Mithridates II, by Eumenes its dynast as 
early as 2 7 9 s , the cities to the east of Amastris were no doubt re- 
duced to obedience still earlier (we know that Abonuteichos was 
Pontic in 137/6 or 151/0 B.C.). Thus from 279 onwards the 
river Parthenius marked the frontier of Pontus to the west. How 
far the first four Mithridatid kings extended their power to the 
east and south we do not know. Armenia Minor was probably a 
vassal state, and Pontus had control of the rich .mining districts of 
the Chalybes, perhaps even before the conquest of Pharnaces L 
It was under the first four kings that a close . connection was 
established between their dynasty and the Seleucids, when Mith- 
ridates III married Laodice, sister of Seleucus II and daughter of 
AntiochusII,andgave his own daughter Laodice toAntiochus III. 

A new epoch begins with the reign of Pharnaces I, the am- 
bitious and talented son of Mithridates III. He appears on the 
horizon for the first time in 183 B.C*, when he was trying, after the 
downfall of the great Seleucid monarchy, to enlarge his kingdom at 
the expense of his neighbours, the Pergamenes and the Bithynians. 
In the main the attempt was abortive. However, Pharnaces I 
succeeded in taking and keeping Sinope and its territory, thus 
making good the failure of his predecessor in 220 B.C., when the 
city received the efficient help of Rhodes (vol. vm, p. 625). It 

1 F. and E. Cumont, Studia Pontica, u, p. 126. 

2 Memnon, 24. a Merrmon, 16. 


was at Sinope that from 183 onwards was established the main 
residence of the kings, an event eloquent of the claim of Pontus to 
belong to the family of completely hellenized monarchies. 

In the great war which began with the taking of Sinope 
Pharnaces aimed at creating a kind of empire such as was later 
achieved by his grandson Eupator, It is surprising to find 
mentioned in the treaty which ended the war 1 , alongside the im- 
portant monarchies and cities, the relatively insignificant town of 
Chersonesus and Gatalus, the Sarmatian, apparently its ally. We 
have seen, too, that this inclusion of Chersonese in the treaty was 
probably closely followed by a special treaty between Pharnaces 
and Chersonesus. These two facts and the interest which Rome 
took in Chersonesus can only be explained by assuming that 
Pharnaces sought to extend his empire into the Crimea and to 
seize Chersonesus as his starting-point. This attempt explains the 
general character of the treaty, which aims chiefly at denying to 
Pharnaces the right to encroach on the liberty and democracy of 
Chersonesus; it also helps us to understand the fact that both 
Heraclea (together with Mesembria and Cyzicus) and a Sarmatian 
king, no doubt allies of Chersonesus, took part in the war. 
Gatalus, the Sarmatian, was probably used as a check upon the 
Scythians, allies of Pharnaces 2 , whereas Heraclea, Cyzicus and 
Mesembria were anxious to maintain freedom of trade in the Black 
Sea. The failure of Pharnaces was also attested by his retro- 
cession of Tieum or Tius,, the neighbour of Amastris, which he 
had succeeded in conquering during the war, a conquest which 
probably gave Heraclea additional cause to take an active part in 
the war. For a while, no doubt, the progress of Pontus was 
stopped, though it is very probable that, either in the same war or 
perhaps Iater 3 Pharnaces succeeded in extending his territory on 
the sea coast towards the east, where he annexed the colonies of 
Sinope, Cerasus and Cotyora, and transported their populations to 
a new city named after himself Pharnaceia. In the second half of 
his reign, however, the king was still feeling the results of his 
failure. An Athenian decree set up at Delos 3 shows that in 172/1 
or 160/59 he was still suffering under a serious financial strain and 
found it difficult to meet his previous obligations towards Athens. 

1 Polyblus xxv, 2. 

2 They are not mentioned in the treaty, but compare the story of 
Arnage the Sarmatian in Polyaenus vm, 56. 

3 LG. xi, 4, 1056; O.G.LS. 771; Durrbach, Choix, 73; A. Wilhelm, 
Jahreshefte, xxiv, 1929, pp. 174^,5 R, Laqueur, J&pigr. Unters. %. d. 
griech. ffolksbeschlussen^ pp. 55 sqq* 


The reason was probably the heavy cost of the war and of the 
war-indemnities which the treaty forced him to pay. And yet he 
was not discouraged, and worked hard to counteract the progress 
of Rome, if that is the explanation of his marriage late in life 
with Nysa, the daughter or grand-daughter of Antiochus III, a 
marriage which is attested by the same decree. 

The date of his death is unknown. The current view is that he 
died about 170/69, when Polybius gives a short characterization 
of him. But it is far from certain that similar general remarks of 
Polybius are obituary notices, and it is not impossible that he lived 
longer 1 . In his policy, perhaps during the second part of his reign, 
he was assisted by his brother, who became his successor and, 
presumably after his death, married their common sister Laodice. 
We have beautiful coins 2 of both Pharnaces and his brother and 
successor Mithridates Philopator Philadelphus and his sister-wife 
Laodice, while the coins of two kings named Mithridates, which, 
no doubt, are earlier than those of Pharnaces, may be assigned to 
Mithridates II and Mithridates IIP. A Delian inscription 4 , 
indeed, suggests that Philopator like Ariobarzanes before him 
ruled together with his brother, and the same inscription suggests 
further that Laodice, their sister, had a share in this joint rule. 
This fact makes it the more difficult to find out the exact date of 
the death of Pharnaces. The fact, however, that Philopator made 
a dedication in Rome probably soon after i68/7 5 , and that he 
alone is mentioned as helping Attains against Prusias in 156 B.C. 
makes it probable that Pharnaces died not very long after 172/1 
B.C., one of the two possible dates of his marriage with Nysa 6 . 

Philopator, who ruled on behalf of Euergetes the young son of 
Pharnaces and Nysa, was probably dead before 149 B.c, 3 for in this 
year Euergetes helped the Romans against Carthage. Later, in 
133 B.C., Euergetes appears again assisting the Romans, this time 
against Aristonicus (p. 105), As has already been mentioned he ap- 
pears in an inscription belonging to 137/6 B.C. or to 151/0 (p. 2 I7) 7 . 

The most important event in the reign of Euergetes was his 

1 If we date the inscription of Delos quoted above in 160/59 instead of 
172/1. 2 See volume of Plates iv, 2, m t n, o. 3 /. 2, k 9 L 

4 Durrbach, Choix, no. 74, c the text of the treaty of 179 (where 
Pharnaces is associated with Mithrfdates), Polybius xxv, 2. 

5 Dessau 30, c 315 O.GJ.S. 375, c ib. 551. 

6 The other, later, date 160/59 seems therefore improbable. 

7 It is worth mentioning that before the discovery of the inscription and of 
the coins of Philopator some scholars were inclined to identify Philopator and 


participation In the war against Aristonicus and what happened 
after the end of this war. He and Nicomcdes king of Bithynia 
were rivals for the possession of Phrygia (p. 106), and an in- 
scription found near Synnada 1 shows that he was successful in his 
endeavours and ruled over Phrygia until the end of his life. This 
suggests that he had both Paphlagonia and Galatia under his 
control. He was equally successful in occupying- Cappadocia 
and placing on its throne a king who was practically his vassal 
(Ariarathes Epiphanes, who married the daughter of Euergetes) 
and in adding to his kingdom the part of Paphlagonia which was 
still ruled by its own kings. The last of them, Pylaemenes, be- 
queathed his kingdom to Euergetes. Euergetes was married to a 
queen whose name is not known to us, but who was probably a 
princess of the Selexicid house 2 . 

Scanty as is the information which we possess on the first 
Mithridatidae we can recognize the general lines of their policy. 
Their chief aim was to consolidate and to increase their kingdom, 
and to this end they used all the available means, no more dis- 
turbed about their moral or immoral character than all their 
crowned and uncrowned contemporaries* One, of these means was 
the use of the resources which Greek civilization offered them. 
This, along with the increased income which could be derived 
from the Greek cities, made them strive first and foremost to in- 
corporate their Greek neighbours in their kingdom. What they 
needed from them was their help in organizing an efficient army 
and navy, in improving the organization of their revenues and in 
assisting them, to acquire a good reputation in the eyes of the 
Greek world,, for which they cared very much indeed. 

How far they intended to hellemzc the non-Greek parts of 
their kingdom it is very difficult to say. No doubt they had not the 
slightest desire to force urban life upon Pontus as a whole* Only 
one city designated by a dynastic name and at all comparable 
with those which were created in scores by the Seleucids was 
created by the predecessors of Eupator. It was Laodicea, known 
to us only from coins and from the survival of the name (modern 
Ladik)^. The synoecisin of Cerasus and Cotyora and the creation 
of Pharnaceia by Pharnaces I have nothing to do either with 
urbanization or with hellenization, 

1 O.G.LS. 436J.G.JR.,. iv, 752. 

2 Her identification with the JLaodicc of a silver tetmdrachm is very 

3 ^ Volume of Plates, iv, 4, j. Compare the similar coins of Amastris and 
Amisus, ib* iv, k> L 


So long as no one of these Greek cities has been excavated, we 
have no means of knowing how the Pontic kings treated the few 
cities which they incorporated in their realm. A priori it is 
probable that Amisus, Amastris and the other cities which were 
annexed before Pharnaces I enjoyed a larger amount of autonomy 
than Sinope, the capital of the later Mithridatidae, and the new 
creations Pharnaceia and Laodicea. On the other hand Phar- 
naceia as well as Amastris was allowed to mint copper earlier than 
the reign of Eupator 1 . 

Thus from the Greek point of view, Pontus after two centuries 
of the rule of the Mithridatid dynasty remained a country of 
villages and temples not of cities. This does not mean, however, 
that more or less hellenized urban centres did not develop there. 
The capital of Pontus before Pharnaces I and the home of Strabo, 
Amasia, had no doubt a large Greek population. The same is 
probably true of so important a market and caravan city as 
Comana. By intermarriage and social intercourse the Greeks 
must have done much to hellenize the native aristocracy. The 
best instance of it are the kings themselves, who were proud of 
their close family connection with the Seleucids and who, all of 
them, spoke and wrote Greek and showed a great appreciation 
of Greek literature and art. The same is true of the nobles with 
native names who were sent out as ambassadors^ for example, to 
Rome. And yet the kingdom never became really hellenized. 
Until the end of its independent existence it remained as it used 
to be before the founding of the dynasty. Proud as they were of 
their Greek training, the Mithridatid kings, especially Pharnaces 
I and his successors, were still more proud of their Iranian con- 
nections. They claimed to be descendants of the Persian kings, 
and they remained devoted to their native gods, especially to 
those who, like themselves, were of Iranian origin. 

If we look at the coins of the Mithridatid kings we notice one 
interesting phenomenon. The rare coins of the predecessors of 
Pharnaces I are almost exact reproductions of the coins of 
Alexander and of those of the early Seleucids, Greek through and 
through 2 . With Pharnaces, however, the reverse types of the coins 
become more individual and Iranian. Pharnaces I indulges in a 
certain mystic syncretism, which was in the air in this period (see 

1 In the inscription of Abonuteichos mentioned above the city retains her 
phratries. The strategos in whose honour the inscription was dedicated may 
be a general of Euergetes or the chief magistrate and governor of the city 
appointed by the king. The same was the practice of the Pergamene kings 
(vol. vm, p. 60 1)* 2 Volume of Plates, iv, 2, k 9 1. 


vol. vn, p. 5 jy.). His god, the mysterious youthful god of his 
coins 1 , was a beautiful youth wearing a bashlyk^ holding the 
attributes of Hermes and those of Tyche and feeding a little 
stag with a branch of ivy or vine. This young god is no doubt 
related to Zeus : over his head there appears the thunderbolt. At 
the same time he belongs to the gods of the astral religion as shown 
by the crescent and star which from this time on become the main 
symbol or coat of arms of the dynasty. The god has been ex- 
plained recently 2 as the Graeco-Oriental Aion, the divine son of 
Zeus who symbolizes the Saeculum frugiferum^ the same mystic 
being, perhaps, as the similar figure on Roman coins and the 
divine child of the Fourth Eclogue of Virgil. However this may 
be, the god of Pharnaces is more Iranian than Greek (in this like 
the god of the kings of Commagene Apollo-Helios-Hermes- 
Mithras), though it was a Greek artist who fashioned the cult- 
statue figured on the coins. Zeus, his father, is no doubt Ahura- 
mazda rather than Zeus, and his essence is nearer to the essence 
of Mithras and Hvareno (the kingly glory) than to that of Her- 
mes and Tyche. We find the same Greek travesties of Iranian 
political and religious ideas on the coins of Pharnaces' successors: 
Perseus, the mythical ancestor of the Persians, appears on the 
coins of Philopator, and his horse Pegasus on those of Eupator 3 . 
No doubt we must regard the Dionysus of Eupator as an 
Anatolian not as a Greek god, a symbol, like the Kphesian 
stag, of his Anatolian empire. 

It is worthy of note that nothing in the coins reveals any in- 
fluence of Iranian art; they were made by Greeks in the purest 
Greek style. The portraits of the kings before Eupator are wonder- 
ful in their brutal realism 4 . We see before us the astute and cruel 
rulers of Pontus in all their original ugliness. Eupator dropped 
this style and preferred to appear as a new Alexander the 
Great with his hair floating romantically around his head^* While the 
portraits of the coins are real productions of a great art, Greek in 
their very essence, most of the reverse types of the coins, equally 
Greek, are trivial and of no artistic importance* 

It seems that the Hellenistic period interrupted an evolution 
which started in North Asia Minor in the fifth and fourth 
centuries B.C. This period produced interesting monuments in a 
peculiar style which we call Graeco-Persian. To this style belong 

1 Volume of Plates, iv, 2, m. 

2 A. Alfoldi in Hermes, LXV, 1930, p. 378. 

3 Volume of Plates, iv, 2, n\ 4, c. 4 Ih. 2, /, m> n. 
5 Cf. F. Winter* J.D.J.L xx, 1894, pp. 245 syy. 


many objects found in the Bosporan kingdom 1 , the front of the 
rock-grave of Kalekapu in Paphlagonia 2 , the beautiful Perso- 
lonian silver vases, one said to have been found in Armenia (one 
part is now in the Louvre, the other in the Berlin Museum) 3 , 
another found in a fifth-century grave at Duvanli in Bulgaria 4 , 
and, finally, the interesting Graeco-Persian gems 5 . On the other 
hand the Hellenistic period has not yielded anything similar to it, 
any object of art which would be an attempt at a synthesis of the 
Greek and Iranian artistic creative power. The attempt to create a 
new version of Graeco-Persian art came later, simultaneously in 
India, Parthia, Mesopotamia and even Commagene, at a time 
when Pontus had played its part in world history to a close 6 . 

Thus the Iranian and the Greek elements in Pontus were 
never fused in Hellenistic times into one unit: they lived on 
quietly side by side. Each had its special part in the policy of the 
Pontic kings. The same phenomenon may be noticed in the life 
of the Parthian Empire in the Hellenistic period (p. 595). 

The leading political idea of Eupator, the creation of a Pontic 
Graeco-native empire including large parts of Asia Minor, was 
not first devised by Eupator. No doubt Pharnaces I had the same 
ideals, which he transmitted to his brother, his son and his grand- 
son. This Pontic empire was not a national State like the Parthian 
empire : it was an unification of all the Pontic Greeks around one 
dynasty which was supported by the strength and cohesion of 
their Oriental subjects. It was an empire with a Greek sea-front 
and an Oriental hinterland. 

An end was put to the brilliant achievements of Euergetes by a 
court tragedy. He was assassinated by his friends, and a last will 
and testament (probably forged) appointed his wife to rule in the 
name of her two sons Mithridates Eupator, who was at that time 
(i 2 i/o B.C.) eleven years old, and Mithridates Chrestos, It is very 
probable that Mithridates' mother helped in the assassination of 

1 See, for examples, volume of Plates iii, 84, d. (c the sword sheath 
recently acquired by the Metropolitan Museum of New York, BulL 
Metrop. Museum* 1931, pp. 44 ^-)> 90, 92, b y c, 104. 

2 Best reproduced by R. Leonhard, Paphlagonia^ pp. 246 sqq, 

3 Volume of Plates i, 324, d. 4 Ib iii, 62, e. 

5 M. Maximowa, J.D.^.I. XLIII, 1928, jirch. jfn%. 9 pp, 648 sqq.\ . 
A. S. F. Gow, J.H.S* XJLVIII, 1928, pp. 133 syj., pis. IX, X; A. Procop6- 
Walter, Syria, x, 1929, pp. 85 sqq. 

6 To this period belongs also the creation of the cult-image of the 
Roman Mithraea Mithra Tauroktonos. 

C.A. H. IX 15 


her husband In order to become the ruler of the kingdom. The 
murder of Euergetes was welcome to Rome, for he had begun to 
be too strong and therefore dangerous to the Romans, After his 
death, under one pretext or another they reduced Pontus to the 
size which it had before the time of Aristonicus and the successes 
of Euergetes in Cappadocia and Paphlagonia (p. IO6) 1 . 

There gathered a staff of historians at the court of Eupator 
who certainly used all devices of late Hellenistic historiography to 
make the story of their patron a thrilling and romantic one. How 
much truth there is in their stories of the various plots and con- 
spiracies against the life of Mithridates in his early youth and of 
his solitary life in the mountains for seven years cannot be found 
out. But sometime before 115 B.C. 2 a new coup d*]&tat ended the 
rule of Mithridates* mother, and that ambitious woman spent the 
rest of her life in prison. The two boys were left alone to rule over 
the kingdom, until Chrestos was removed by his older brother. 

The spirited young king suffered the humiliation of receiving 
from his mother a kingdom considerably reduced in size. On 
the other hand, the great programme of Pharnaces I and the 
achievements of Euergetes were there to spur his activity. The 
political situation was not unfavourable for ambitious plans. There 
was, it is true ? a governor in the recently created province of Asia. 
But the Senate, being at this time without imperialistic aims and 
fully occupied with the tribunate of C* Gracchus, the Jugurthine 
War and the growing danger of invasion from the North, left Asia 
Minor to disorder and confusion* 

We know very little of the chronology of the early wars of 
Mithridates, His great conquest of the south-eastern and nor- 
thern shores of the Black Sea cannot be dated with any approach 

1 An inscription of 155 B.C. recently found at Gyrene and published by 
G* Oliverio {La Stele di Tolemeo Neoteros re di Girme in Document* Jint* 
dell* Africa Italiana VoL i. fasc. I, 1932), containing the will in the form 
of *donatio mortis causa' of Ptolemy the Younger (later Euergetes II), then 
King of Cyrene and claimant to Cyprus, in favour of the Romans, shows, 
if compared with the later similar acts of Attalus III, NIcomedes III and 
Ptolemy Apion of Cyrene, that the testaments of client kings were for a 
while a device in the foreign policy of the ruling party in the Roman 
Senate, a kind of disguised imperialism. It is very probable that the Romans 
expected Euergetes of Pontus to behave in the same way. In this they were 
mistaken. Euergetes was recalcitrant, and paid for it with his life* 

2 The date is fixed by the inscription of Deles (O.G.I.S. 369; Durrbach, 
Choix y 1 13) in honour of the king and his brother. C O,G%/.*S\ 368 5 Durr- 
bach, Choix, 114. The inscription is dated by the name of the dcdlcant. It is 
probable that the dedications were made after Mithridates* official accession, 
and, if so, the seven years in the mountains must be considerably reduced. 


to precision. All that is certain is that it preceded the first war 
with Rome and probably began before the king's earliest activity 
within Asia Minor. The extant notices of these wars are scanty 
indeed. Had we not an inscription in honour of the Pontic 
general Diophantus 1 , we should not be able to reconstruct from 
the scattered remarks of Strabo any connected history of even one 
part of the Crimean wars of Mithridates. 

The history of the Bosporan Kingdom in the third and second 
centuries has been described in the preceding volume (chap. xvin). 
The new factor in the situation of the Greeks in the Bosporus 3 in 
Chersonesus and its territory (the fertile lands on the western 
shore of the Crimea), and in Olbia, was the appearance in the 
steppes of South Russia of one tribe of Sarmatians after another. 
The Scythian Empire in South Russia and in the northern part of 
the Balkan peninsula, weakened by the Macedonians under 
Philip, Alexander and Lysimachus and later by the Thracians and 
the Celts, was gradually retreating to the coast leaving the steppes 
of South Russia to the Sarmatians and the Danube region, except 
the Dobrudja, to Sarmatians, Thracians and Celts. 

The process was a very slow one. In the third century the 
Greeks did not feel any unusual pressure from the Scythians, 
though from, time to time Bosporus had to do some fighting while 
Chersonesus was mainly occupied in defending its territory against 
the raids of the Taurians 2 . The situation of Olbia was worse, for 
that city had already begun to feel the evils of the growing 
anarchy in the steppes of South Russia 3 , The more heavily the 
Sarmatians pressed upon the Scythians, the more difficult became 
the plight of the Greek cities. And yet in the first half of the second 
century conditions were still tolerable. Bosporus enjoyed at this 
time a kind of renaissance (vol. vm, p* 581), while Chersonesus 
was successfully fighting for her liberty against Pharnaces I and 
perhaps the Scythians, upon whom alliances with the Sarmatians 
were an efficient check. We hear twice of such alliances: once 
at the time of the Pharnacian war, and again when the Sarmatian 
queen Amage (who in the name of her drunken husband herself 
ruled like many Hellenistic queens) made a daring raid upon 
the Scythian capital in defence of the Chersonesites. 

Towards the second half of the second century the situation of 
these Greek cities changed for the worse. There arose in the 
Crimea a comparatively strong and united Scythian State. The 
little we know of it shows that its founder, the king Scilurus, was a 

1 los. P.K i 2 , 3525 Ditt. 3 709, 2 los. P.E. i 2 , 343, cf. 344. 

3 los. P.E. i 2 , 325 Ditt. 3 495. 



very able ruler. It appears that he secured himself by means of 
treaties and concessions and became an ally of the most vigorous 
Sarmatian tribe, the RoxolanL His hands were therefore free for 
activity on the coast. How he succeeded in occupying Olbia and 
reducing her to vassalage we do not know, but the Olbians were 
probably glad to have a protector against the various oppressors 
who threatened their very existence. With the help of the Olbians 
Scilurus organized his Crimean State, He and his sons reduced 
some tribes of the Taurians to obedience and built fortresses in 
their territory 1 ,, thus becoming near neighbours of Chersoncsus. 
In the centre of the Crimea Scilurus built a fortified capital 
Neapolis, in which many Greeks lived,, as is shown by their in- 
scriptions in honour of the kings 2 . His income he increased in the 
most efficient way by organizing through the great merchants of 
Olbia we know of one Posideos who was in close relations with 
Rhodes an important export of grain to western markets like 
that of Masinissa of Numidia at about the same time. And to 
protect this export trade he used the naval experience of the 
Olbians. An Olbian merchant-condottiere suppressed for him the 
piracy of the Satarchae,, a tribe of the northern Crimea 3 . 

It is interesting to observe that exactly the same state of affairs 
that we find in the Crimea obtained on the western shore of the 
Black Sea. An inscription of the Greek city of Istros 4 and many 
coins show that the Scythians at the mouth of the Danube followed 
the same policy as that of Scilurus. They reduced the Greek cities 
to obedience^ and in return for this obedience and a heavy tribute 
protected them as efficiently as they could -against the ever- 
renewed attacks of the Thracians. The tone of the inscription of 
Istros mentioned above shows that the Greeks were more or less 
reconciled with the Scythians. The enemies whom the Greeks 
dreaded were the Thracians, and not without reason. The Scy- 
thians never destroyed a Greek city; the Thracians did so re- 
peatedly. Istros fell a victim to them 5 and later Olbia^ which, while 
still a prosperous city, was destroyed by the Getae (between 67 and 
50 B,C,), at a time when there were no Scythians to protect her* 

1 The royal residence Chalol or Chabon^ and Palakion (Strabo vn a 3 1 2) 
are to be regarded as fortresses. 

2 los.P : & i\ 668-673, los. P.E. i\ 672, c S.JB.G. m, 606, 

4 This inscription has been recently discussed in a meeting of the French 
Academy by Prof. Lambrino, and a publication of it is in preparation. Cp. 
S.JS.G* n, 446, and the later decree for Aristagoras, Ditt.*yoS. Much later 
is the decree of Dionysopolis for Acornion, Ditt.^ 762$ M. HolieauK, 
Jti.~d. xix, 1917, pp. 252^, * Ditt. 3 708. 


Master of Olbia, Scilurus no doubt wished to extend his 
empire to the east and south as well and to consolidate and in- 
crease his Graeco-Scythian state, a little Parthia in the Crimea, by 
using the resources of Panticapaeurn and the other cities of the 
Bosporus and of Chersonesus and her dependent cities. By 
heavier demands for tribute Scilurus found a way of interfering 
with the internal affairs of the Greek cities and, in case of necessity, 
of invading their territory and attacking the cities themselves. 
Nor was this the end of the story. When Scilurus died, a very old 
man, his many sons followed the same policy. They recognized 
the authority of one among them, Palacus, and continued their 
pressure on the Greek cities. 

The resources of the Greek cities were exhausted. The last 
Bosporan king was probably forced to adopt a Scythian prince 
(Saumacus) and to give him a Greek education, thus preparing for 
Bosporus a Scytho-Greek new dynasty. The Chersonesites were 
hard put to it to ward off the attacks of the Taurians and the 
Scythians. Bosporus and Chersonesus alike were faced by the 
choice either to submit like Olbia and the cities of the Dobrudja 
to the slightly hellenized Scythian kings and rely upon them for 
their safety against the attacks of the Sarmatians and Taurians, or 
to find help from outside. The Greek cities of the Black Sea shore 
with which both the Bosporus and Chersonese stood in uninter- 
rupted relations for centuries, Amisus, Sinope and Heraclea, were 
no longer able to help, for Amisus and Sinope were now subjects 
of Pontus and Heraclea had enough to do to defend her own inde- 
pendence. Rome was far away and not interested in the Crimea. 
The only hope was in the kings of the opposite coast, the Bithy- 
nian or Pontic rulers, who were a little more hellenized than 
Scilurus and his sons. 

Chersonesus and Bosporus decided to appeal to Mithridates for 
protection. Their choice was probably dictated by previous 
diplomatic relations with the Pontus and by the interest which 
Pontus always showed in Crimean affairs. However that may be, 
after exchanges of embassies 1 the king dispatched a citizen of 
Sinope, Diophantus son of Asclepiodorus, with an army across the 
sea to help Chersonesus against the Scythians. Diophantus, who 
cannot be the same as the author of the treatise Pontica^ was 
probably a well-known general of the usual type, a successful 
condottiere. Two expeditions were needed to break the resistance 

1 los, P.E. i 2 , 34.9, cf, 351. Ib. no. 349 which mentions the envoy of a 
Pontic king, may be dated in the reign of Philopator or Eupator. In 351* 
honours are granted to a Sinopian who may have been an ambassador. 


of Palacus and his allies the Sarmatians, and probably others., 
before the sway of the Pontic kings was extended to Olbia and the 
Greek cities across the Bosporan straits. 

A long decree of the city of Chersonesus in honour of Dio- 
phantus, which has been mentioned above, gives us a good account 
of his two expeditions to the Crimea. The first is dealt with 
briefly (the events of this expedition were narrated in a previous 
decree voted after the end of the first expedition), the second in 
some detail. Many facts mentioned in the decree appear also 
in the excerpts of Hypsicrates' history of Mithridates inserted by 
Strabo into his description of Scythia and the Crimea. Among 
these excerpts, however, there are some which mention facts of a 
later date and one which tells a story which may be connected with 
the expedition of Diophantus, but is not mentioned in the decree. 

The history of the occupation of the Crimea by Diophantus may 
be summarized as follows. After his arrival at Chersonesus he set 
out at once to invade the enemy's country. Palacus, to his great 
surprise,, was well informed about his movements and met him at 
once in the open field. A brilliant victory opened to the arms of 
Pontus the way into the Taurian region and the Bosporan king- 
dom. After having crushed the resistance of the Taurians, and 
having founded in their country a fortified city perhaps called 
Eupatorion to match Mithridates' Kupatoria in Pontus, Dio- 
phantus entered Bosporan territory. Whether he reached the city 
and received the submission of the last Paerisades, who had offered 
it to him long before, cannot be ascertained. Returning to Cherso- 
nesus, Diophantus with his army and the civic militia invaded the 
country of the Scythians, took the two royal residences of Chabaioi 
(Chaboi in Strabo) and Neapolis, and reduced the Scythians to 
submission. After the end of this first'campaign, which may have 
been carried out in two successive years, Diophantus regarded his 
work as finished, and embarked for Sinope after duly receiving 
the grateful thanks of Chersonesus. 

However, some time later, probably not in the next year, the 
Scythians felt strong enough to refuse obedience to the Pontic 
kings and to start the war again. Between the two expeditions of 
Diophantus, shortly before the second, may be set the incident 
related by Strabo (vn, 312) which is not mentioned in the in- 
scription. The episode, however, is not dated and may have 
happened earlier or later. The Scythians laid siege to a fortress 
built by Mithridates (Eupatorion, probably not to be identified 
with the fortress, perhaps of the same name, built by Diophantus 
in the country of the Taurians) across a bay either from the city of 


Chersonesus or from a fortified Chersonesian town Teichos* The 
siege ended in the repulse of the besiegers 1 . 

Diophantus started his second expedition in the late autumn, 
and advanced at once into the enemy's country with the militia of 
Chersonesus and his own army. Bad weather and probably snow 
prevented him from crossing the Taurian mountains, whereupon 
he turned towards the western sea coast in order to rescue from the 
Scythians the cities dependent on the Chersonesites Cercinitis, 
which lay near the modern Eupatoria, a lesser fortified town or 
townSj whichever is meant by the name Teiche^ and Kalos Limen> 
of which the site is unknown. He took Cercimtis and the Teicke 
and had laid siege to Kalos Limen ; whereupon Palacus appeared in 
force with a strong army which consisted of his own troops and of 
an allied corps of the Roxolani, According to Strabo (vu, 306) the 
Roxolani, or perhaps the whole of the army of Palacus, numbered 
50,000 men, the forces of Diophantus six thousand. The battle, as 
had been foretold by the great goddess of Chersonesus, ended in a 
Pontic victory, and meanwhile the Chersonesites succeeded in 
reducing Kalos Limen 2 . Diophantus in turn marched against the 
two Scythian capitals and probably occupied them. From here he 
went, unattended by his army, to Panticapaeum and settled affairs 
there. Suddenly the Scythian Saumacus, adopted son of Paerisades, 
rose in revolt, killed the king and forced Diophantus to flee to 
Chersonesus. Here he collected the citizen militia, mobilized the 
fleet and his own army and moved in the early spring against 
Theodosia and Panticapaeum. The cities were taken, Saumacus 
surrendered and was sent to Pontus. The acquisition of the Crimea 
was achieved. After his two splendid expeditions Diophantus 
disappears from history. The war, however, was not yet ended. 

1 The topography of this siege is hopelessly confused in Strabo and is 
hotly debated by modern scholars. In the opinion of the present writer the 
most probable theory is that of Berthier Delagarde, who identified the city 
mentioned by Strabo with the ruins on the little peninsula which was called 
Parthenion by the ancients, where to-day the Chersonesian lighthouse 
stands. A further suggestion by the same scholar, that these ruins are identical 
with the * old Chersonesus' of Strabo, is supported by the quite recent disco very 
of large and well-preserved ruins under the level or the sea opposite the light- 
house. Strong walls surround this city; the agora is well recognisable. Against 
the inroads from outside, the promontory on which this city stood was de- 
fended by a double wall which ran from the sea to the bay, ruins of which 
were discovered some years ago. No detailed account of the discovery has 
been printed yet. A preliminary report may be found in an article by Prof, 
Grinevich in the newspaper Moskva Pecher^ Oct. 22, 1930, no. 247. 



NeoptolermiSj the admiral of Mithridates, is found engaged with 
the barbarians of the other side of the Bosporaii straits, pre- 
sumably Sarmatians and Maeotians. It is reasonable to suppose 
that this enterprise, which led to two bloody battles, one by sea and 
one by land, the latter on the ice of the frozen straits, had for its 
purpose to rescue from the barbarians the Greek cities of the 
Taman peninsula and to annex them to the kingdom of Pontus 1 , 

Another expedition was organized in order to add Olbia and her 
territory to the acquisitions of Pontus. So much at least may be 
deduced from an inscription 2 which shows that during the wars 
with the Romans Olbia was in the hands of Mithridates; and a 
name mentioned incidentally by Strabo (vn, 306) the tower of 
Neoptolemus not far from Olbia suggests that it was Neoptole- 
mus who led the expedition which ended with the annexation of 
Olbia. Here again we find a fortified stronghold built by the 
general of Mithridates near a Greek city a sign that the king 
did not wholly trust the loyalty of his new subjects, From here no 
doubt Mithridates extended his help also to the Greek cities of the 
Dobrudja and came into touch with the Thrucian and Celtic 
tribes. It is very probable that after some fighting with the most 
warlike tribes of these regions- the Sarmatians and the Bastarnae 
a kind of Pontic protectorate was finally established over some at 
least of the Greek cities of the western shore of the Black Sea 3 . 

As a result of this sequence of expeditions, not one of which was 
led by the king in person, all the Greek cities of the Crimea and of 
the northern shore of the Black Sea with their territories became a 
part of the Pontic kingdom. The capital of Mithridates in this new 
realm was Panticapaeum. Here was the residence of his viceroy, 
who was generally one of the sons of the king (first Machares, later 
Pharnaces), to whom the other Greek cities were subject. How 
much of their autonomy they retained it is hard to say. It is 
probable that both Chersonesus and the cities of the Bosporus still 
coined their own money (silver and copper), with Mithridatic 
types 4 . Chersonesus and Olbia certainly kept their popular assem- 
blies, their councils and their magistrates. Whether the 'free" 
Greek cities had to pay any tribute or not is not known, but in any 
event, their political independence was gone. 

1 Strabo vii, 307; n, 73. 2 los. P.E. i*, 35, 

8 The date of these operations is unknown, and they may be much later 
than the conquest of the Crimea. The protectorate is suggested by Mithri- 
clatic tjrpes on the coinage of the Greek cities of the western shore of the 
Black Sea and by their behaviour during the wars of Mithridates with Rome. 
See Volume of Plates iv, 4,/, g 9 A, i, 4 Ib. 4.j-0. 


Outside the city territories conditions remained the same as 
they used to be. No doubt the Scythians retained their native 
kings, the Maeotians their chieftains and the Sarmatians their 
petty kings or princes. Some of them may have been appointed by 
Mithridates ; at all events the Scythian kings complained in Rome 
about their being evicted from their kingdoms 1 . Some paid a 
tribute, chiefly in kind. The revenue of Mithridates from his new 
province 200 talents in silver and 180,000 medimni of grain 
may be regarded as including not only the customs-duties and 
possibly other taxes of the Greek cities, the tithes of the landowners 
and the rents of the farmers and 'royal peasants' of the crown 
domains in the Bosporus but also payments by some of the vassal 
kings. But the chief advantage which Mithridates derived from 
his conquests was the unlimited possibility of drawing upon the 
resources in men of his new vassals, who had long been wont in 
case of need to send to their suzerains allied contingents which 
were practically mercenary corps. The army of Mithridates came 
to consist largely of such detachments of Scythians, Sarmatians, 
Maeotians, Thracians and Celts 2 * 

While year after year Mithridates' generals were conquering 
for him the northern shore of the Black Sea, other enterprises un- 
noticed or ignored by the Romans extended his rule over its 
southern shore. From the time of Pharnaces Lesser Armenia 
regarded the Pontic kings as her suzerains. When Mithridates 
claimed to convert this suzerainty into actual sovranty her ruler 
Antipater, son of Sisis, surrendered without fighting. Lesser 
Armenia became a kind of stronghold or fortress for keeping the 
King's treasures: 75 gazophylakia were built here by Mith- 
ridates and they rendered him good service later. How and when 
Mithridates joined to Lesser Armenia the coast of the eastern 
Paryadres with the city of Trapezus and the kingdom of Colchis 
which opened to him the way to Iberia, Atropatene and Great 
Armenia is not known. The value of these accessions, which 
apparently were easily won, was not to be despised, for Trapezus 
was the chief harbour for the export of minerals from that region, 
while Colchis supplied timber and hemp for the Pontic fleet* 
This latter region was organized as a satrapy and was ruled some- 
times by a member of the royal family. 

1 Memnon, 30; Appian, Mithr. 13. 

2 Some of the Thracians, however, never became allies of Mithridates 
and sided with the Romans; see the decree of Chaeronea, M. Holleaiix, 
Rev. E.G. XXXii, 1919, pp. 320 sqq. 



At the very end of the second century Mithridates made a 
journey incognito round Asia Minor ending with Bithynia, which 
must have shown him the complication and anarchy which pre- 
vailed. Pontus was surrounded by many states -Cappadocia, 
Galatia, Paphlagonia and Bithynia which occupied towards 
Rome and her province of Asia the same position as Pontus. Nomin- 
ally, like Pontus, all these states were independent allies of the 
Roman People, practically they were Roman vassals. This they all 
felt, some of them with bitter resentment. By that time the develop- 
ment of these states and their attitude towards Rome and each 
other were on the eve of assuming more than local importance. 
It was to be the destiny of the king to bring them into the tide of 
world history, and his own early activity in this direction found a 
counterpart in that of the ruler of Bithynia, 

Bithynia was gradually built up by the steady efforts of her 
Graeco-Thracian dynasty* Nicomedes I, Ziaelas, Prusias I cor- 
responded in the history of Bithynia to the first Mithridatids of the 
Pontus* With Prusias II started the period of Roman interven- 
tion to which Prusias submitted in the most abject way. His 
murderer and successor Nicomedes II Epiphanes, the contem- 
porary of Eupator, played in Bithynia more or less the part of 
Mithridates Euergetes. His ambition, however, equalled that of 
Eupator. His kingdom was rich and prosperous, and helleniza- 
tion made much more progress than in the Pontus. The Bithynian 
kings were great city-builders: Nicomedeia, Nicaea, Prusa, 
Apamea, Prusias (formerly Cius) bear witness to this activity. 
Some of the ancient Greek cities of the coast submitted to them, as 
Chalcedon and Tieurru But Heraclea Pontica, a stronger city than 
Amisus, remained free despite many efforts of the Bithynian kings 
to conquer her, and Cyzicus, in this unlike Sinope, proudly re- 
mained to the end of the Bithynian kingdom an independent 

The situation of Paphlagonia was different. The best part of it 
was since the foundation of the Pontic kingdom in the hands of the 
Mithridatid kings. The rest was split between local dynasts, some 
of them of foreign Galatian origin. For a time in the reign of 
Pharnaces I Paphlagonia was united in the hands of the king 
Morzlus, whose successor was that Pylaemenes, who bequeathed 
his kingdom to Mithridates Euergetes (p* 222). After the death 


of Euergetes Paphlagonia continued as before in independence 
and anarchy under many local dynasts. 

The neighbouring Galatians had never recovered from the 
tremendous blow which was given to their pride by Manlius 
Vulso, after Magnesia (vol. vm, p. 228 sq*}* They lived the same 
tribal life as before^ divided into three peoples each subdivided 
into tetrarchies ; they had the same feudal society with immensely 
rich chieftains surrounded by clients, and they retained their war- 
like temper which made them excellent mercenary soldiers for 
anyone who wanted to hire them. 

The strongest neighbour of Pontus was no doubt Cappadocia. 
The ruling house named after Ariarathes was of the same Iranian 
origin as the Pontic dynasty, and was also closely connected with 
the Seleucids. It probably came to power later in the turmoil of the 
early third century. After the defeat of Antiochus the Great 
Ariarathes V Eusebes Philopator (163130 B.C.) transferred his 
allegiance to the Romans, and remained faithful and useful to them 
until his death in the Roman war against Aristonicus (see above, 
p. 105). His rule had the reputation of being the happiest time 
for Cappadocia. A friend of Pergamum and of Athens and all 
that Athens represented, he was the first to sitart a hellenization 
of Cappadocia, which however never went very deep 1 . His death 
was followed by a period of protracted anarchy, for his wife Nysa 
murdered her own five sons in order to keep the rule in her hands. 
She could not prevent, however, the sixth Ariarathes from taking 
power into his own hands. For a while a tool in the hands of his 
father-in-law Mithridates Euergetes, he reigned till in B.C, when 
he was murdered by Gordius, later a creature of Eupator. After 
his murder his wife Laodice, the sister of Eupator, ruled in the 
name of her son Ariarathes VII Philometor 2 . 

Such were the neighbours of Mithridates. The situation was 
favourable for his ambition, and after he had made an arrangement 
with the most powerful of his neighbours, Nicomedes, and quelled 

1 Important for the history of Ariarathes V are two inscriptions one 
of Priene giving evidence on the darkest period in the life of Ariarathes when 
he was expelled from his kingdom by Orophernes (O.G.I.S. 351), another of 
Athens giving an eloquent testimony to his relations to the city of Athens and 
to art (O.G.LS. 3525 7.G. 2 n, 13305 A. Wilhelm, Jahreshefte> xxiv, 1929, 
pp. 184 <r^.); c Ditt. 3 666 (the statue of the philosopher Carneades dedicated 
by Attalus and Ariarathes) and the inscription of Tyana, S.E.G. I, 466 (a 
Greek gymnasium at Tyana in the time of Epiphanes). 

2 The coins of these dynasties, like those of Pontus, are our main source 
of information both for their history and their culture. See Volume of 
Plates iv, 6. 


a conspiracy in his own family his sister-wife during his absence 
betrayed him and tried to kill him after his return he started at 
once on his endeavours to create an Anatolian empire in addition 
to his Pontic empire, endeavours which lasted more than twenty 
years and led to a sharp and protracted conflict with Rome. 

Paphlagonia was the first victim of the ambition of the two 
allied kings, who divided its territory between them unhindered 
by a weak protest from Rome. During the very presence of a 
Roman senatorial commission in Asia Minor Galatia was next 
occupied by the two kings and became their vassal. At Rome 
bribes sufficed to neutralize the stormy protest of Appulcius 
Saturninus (p. 168). Next came the turn of Cappadocia. At this 
point the two kings parted. By a coup-de-main Nicomedes 
suddenly occupied the country, and persuaded Laodice the mother 
of Ariarathes VII to marry him, thus becoming the legitimate 
ruler of Cappadocia. This breach of faith was bitterly resented by 
Eupator, who thereupon entered the country with a strong army 
and reinstated Ariarathes VII on his throne at Mazaea. 

The entente between Ariarathes and Mithridates, which is 
attested by the dedication of a bust of Ariarathes in the Delian 
shrine dedicated to Eupator in 101/0 B.c. 1 , did not last for very 
long. Mithridates urged Ariarathes to recall Gordius the murderer 
of his father, Ariarathes refused, and created (perhaps not without 
the help of Marius who was at that time in Asia) a coalition against 
Mithridates. The two armies met in Cappadocia. Before battle 
was joined Mithridates treacherously murdered Ariarathes, and 
the Cappadocian army then broke in flight. A son of Mithridates 
was set upon the vacant throne. The fiction was that he was 
another son of Ariarathes V. This boy Ariarathes Eusebes 
Philopator ruled quietly with the assistance of Gordius for about 
five or six years, until the country revolted and called on the son of 
the last legitimate king of Cappadocia> who lived in the province 
of Asia. This young man, however, died very soon and Cappa- 
docia became Pontic again 2 , 

Suddenly the newly won power of Mithridates in Asia Minor 
fell to pieces at a touch. Jealous of Mithridates and afraid for his 
own safety Nicomedes appealed to the Romans, and the Senate 
felt that it was time to interfere. Explicit orders were given to the 
kings to leave Paphlagonia and Cappadocia alone. These orders 
were obeyed, but with anger and resentment. Paphlagonia received 
* freedom'; the Cappadocians declined this privilege and asked 

1 O.GJ.S* 3535 Durrbach, Ghoix 9 136^. 

2 See his coin as Ariarathes VIII, Volume of Plates iv, 6, . 


for a king, whereupon one of their own ruling class, Ariobar- 
zanes, was elected by the Cappadocian grandees (c. 95 B.C.)* 

Mithridates, however, had not abandoned his ambitions. He 
tried a new device. Another neighbour of Cappadocia, Armenia, 
which under the rule of Tigranes, later surnamed the Great, 
began a period of short-lived revival, a neighbour entirely inde- 
pendent of Rome and closely connected with Parthia, was ready to 
help him, Tigranes married Cleopatra, a daughter of Eupator, and 
in 93 B.C. invaded Cappadocia, expelled Ariobarzanes and ap- 
pointed Gordius, the alter ego of Mithridates, ruler of Cappa- 
docia. Thereupon Rome intervened again, Sulla, at that time 
propraetor of Cilicia, was given the task of restoring Ariobarzanes 
and carried it out with characteristic skill (92 B.C.). On the 
Euphrates an envoy of Parthia met him, and a conference was 
held in the presence of the Cappadocian king. It was the first 
time that spokesmen of the two great rivals of the future met 
face to face. Mithridates was the chief loser in the game. His 
Anatolian dreams were once more shattered, and it became clear 
to him that they could not come true so long as the Senate dictated 
its will in Asia Minor. Conflict with Rome must come. 

In the struggle which followed, Mithridates disposed of re- 
sources partly inherited by him from his ancestors, partly created 
by himself. In the organization of his kingdom he had made 
little change. His Pontic empire remained on a larger scale what 
the Pontus of his ancestors had been, a combination of a few Greek 
cities and of large areas peopled by subjects and vassals. Over his 
subjects and vassals Mithridates ruled with the help of citizens of 
his Greek cities. Among these the leading role belonged to the 
citizens of Amisus, unless their prevalence among those grandees 
of the court who were honoured in the Mithridatic shrine at 
Delos 1 is due merely to the dedicator's possible personal relations 
with the city of Helianax, but yet it is striking to find so many 
Amisenes among the dignitaries of Mithridates. If Mithridates 
did something to impose hellenism, that is, city life upon his 
native kingdom, we know nothing about it. The fact that so 
many centres of quasi-urban life were minting copper 2 during 
his reign may suggest a certain amount of urban autonomy granted 
to them by the king, but there may be other explanations of the 
same fact. 

The kingdom of Mithridates was as typical a Hellenistic 

kingdom as any other. We know very little of the various offices 

and court titles which were typical of the Hellenistic 

1 Durrbach, Choix* 133136. 2 Volume of Plates 'Iv' 


in general. It is possible that some Hellenistic monarchies kept in 
this respect nearer to Macedonia, some others nearer to Persia, If 
that be true, we may class Pontus with the second. The few court 
titles of the time of Mithridates which survive suggest a more 
Iranian organization of the court than even the Seleucid organiza- 
tion, closely akin to what we know of Parthia in this respect 1 . 
However, we know too little to be able to speak with certainty. 

No details are known about the organization of the Mithri- 
datic army and fleet. It seems to have been the same combination 
of mercenaries, of soldiers recruited in the homeland of the 
Mithridatic empire, and of allied detachments sent by the vassals, 
as was the army of the Seleucids. The royal fleet was probably 
furnished by the large commercial Creek cities under Pontic 
suzerainty. Of Mithridates' revenues no precise estimate can 
be made; but we know that royal garrisons guarded accumulated 
treasure in the numerous gaxop/iylakia throughout his Kmpire, 
and the vast booty brought home by Pompey in 62 B.C gives 
some idea how great these treasures were (p. 396)* 


In spite of his rebuff at the hands of Sulla in the year 92, the 
political situation both in Italy and Asia Minor once more 
offered to Mithridates the opportunity to achieve his long- 
cherished ambitions. Rome had to face the rupture with her 
Italian allies (p. 185), and the death of Nicomedes of Bithynia 
(c. 94 B.C.), followed by dissensions between his sons, had removed 
from Mithridates* path his only serious rival among the kings of 
Asia Minor, The claims of the two sons of Nicomedes II had been 
decided by the Senate in favour of the elder, Nicomedes III 
Epiphanes Philopator, shortly before the outbreak of the Social 
War, whereupon the younger, Socrates* betook himself to Mithri- 
dates. While the Romans were fully occupied with the Social 
War, Pontic troops drove Nicomedes from Bithynia and estab- 
lished Socrates in his place. Simultaneously, in conjunction with 
Tigranes, Mithridates once more caused Ariobarzanes to be driven 
from Cappadocia and placed upon the throne his own son, as 

1 C M. I. Rostovtzeff and C. JEL Welles, jf parchment contract etc., Yale 
Classical Studies, n, 1930, pp. 35, 53 ., 71. 

a The chief ancient sources for sections v vm are Plutarch's Sutta, 
1 1-26 (which draws on Sulla's own memoirs), Appian, Mithridatica* 1-63, 
JVTcninon, fragments of History of Heraciea 9 xv> and fragments of Licinianus. 


Ariarathes IX. The dispossessed kings appealed to Rome, whose 
hands were already becoming more free to deal with the problems 
which had arisen in Asia Minor. A commission was appointed to 
settle affairs in the East and orders sent to C, Cassius 1 , governor of 
Asia, to co-operate in restoring Nicomedes. Similar instructions 
were sent to Mithridates himself. 

It was scarcely to be expected that Mithridates would take the 
active part which the Romans, by virtue of the nominal alliance, 
had enjoined. He did, however, carry out orders to the extent of 
putting Socrates to death. He had no doubt expected greater 
results from the Social War and was disconcerted by the signs that 
it would speedily be terminated. But the attitude which he now 
adopted shows that he had little faith in his own ability to resist 
Rome, or that his preparations for war were not yet completed. 
The two kings of Bithynia and Cappadocia were reinstated without 
opposition from Mithridates or Tigranes* But whatever the 
motive which induced this passive acquiescence, the Roman 
commissioners were entirely deceived. The original appointment 
of their leader, M'. Aquilius, had little to commend it. He had 
proved himself a brave and capable soldier and had rendered good 
service to Rome in the Sicilian slave-war, but at the end of the 
campaign had narrowly escaped a hostile verdict on a charge of 
peculation (p. 156). Disappointed of the hopes of booty to be 
derived from a Pontic campaign, the commissioners, in order to 
make sure of the money promised by the impecunious Nicomedes 
in return for his restoration, urged him to attack the dominions of 
Mithridates. A raid carried out by Nicomedes' army on the ports 
of the Paphlagonian coast controlled by Mithridates as far as the 
city of Amastris provided the funds for which the commissioners 
were pressing. 

Even so Mithridates, whose forces had retired before the 
advance of the Bithynian marauders, shrank from an open con- 
flict. An envoy, Pelopidas, was sent to ask that the aggressor 
should be restrained, or that the Romans should stand aside. 
Failing to get satisfaction, Mithridates dispatched Ariarathes to 
seize Cappadocia, but once more Pelopidas appeared before the 
commissioners requesting that the whole matter should be 
referred to the Senate, to whom Mithridates himself actually sent 
a message of protest. Pelopidas, however, was bluntly told that 
his master must evacuate Cappadocia and leave Nicomedes alone, 
and preparations were made for a general advance into Mithri- 
dates' dominions. 

1 Ditt. 3 741. Appian, however (Mithr, 1 1 ), calls him Lucius* 


The RonianSj who had no more than a legion of their own 
troops available in Asia Minor, were compelled to rely on the 
levies of their Asiatic allies, troops of inferior quality and un- 
certain number 1 . While Aquilius remained in reserve in the north> 
Q. Oppius,, the governor of Cilicia, made a flanking movement 
from the south into Cappadocia, and Cassius advanced by the 
route from Nicaea to Ancyra. Nicomcdes himself with the 
Bithynian army was sent forward to meet the main Pontic force 
and penetrated as far as the Ananias, a tributary of the Halys, in 
Paphlagonia. Here he soon met with disaster at the hands of the 
king's generals Archelaus and Neoptolemus, who had been sent 
forward to contain him with light troops and cavalry from. 
Armenia Minor 2 , The way was thus cleared for the advance of the 
main Pontic army into Bithynia, Aquilius sought to retreat to 
the Sangarius., but was brought to battle and defeated., escaping 
with difficulty to Pergamum. 

The two engagements decided the issue of the campaign. 
Cassius, who had retired southwards to the stronghold of Leonton- 
cephalae, and thence had endeavoured to join Oppius at Apumea, 
found it necessary to fall back on the coast. Helped with provisions 
by a certain Chaeremon of Nysa 3 , he contrived at last to make his 
way to Rhodes. Oppius was less fortunate. He succeeded in 
reaching Laodicea on the Lycus with a force of mercenaries and 
some cavalry, and prepared to stand a siege. But the inhabitants 
did not long resist the assaults and solicitations of Mithridates 
and surrendered the Roman commander. Oppius himself is said 
to have suffered no harm. Aquilius, who had fled from Per- 
gamum but had fallen ill at Mytilene on his way to Rhodes, was 
surrendered with other Romans by the inhabitants to Mithri- 
dates, who, after exhibiting his captive everywhere in the province 
of Asia bound on an ass or chained to a gigantic Bastarnian horse- 
man,, finally, by way of rebuking Roman greed, caused molten 
gold to be poured down his throat. 

1 Appian's numbers, $0^000 foot and 6000 horse for the Bithynian army, 
40,000 for each of the three Roman armies, arc Impossible, but beyond 

2 The forces with which Mithridates entered Paphlagonia are given by 
Memnon (31) as 150,000 men. Although the passage suggests that the 
40,000 men and 10,000 horse which formed the advance guard are to be 
regarded as additional, it is possible that the figure 1 50,000 which Memnon 
preserves was the nominal strength of Mithridates' total forces, Appian's 
figures of 250,000 infantry and 40^000 cavalry (exclusive of the 10,000 
cavalry from Armenia Minor, the phalanx and the scythed chariots) are 
impossible, & Ditt. a , 741, 


After entering Bithynia, Mithridates had entrusted the pursuit 
of Aquilius to his generals^ himself turning southwards to follow 
Cassius. From southern Phrygia forces were dispatched to 
reduce the southern part of Asia Minor and arrangements were 
made for the government of newly acquired territory by satraps 1 . 
After the capture of Laodicea Mithridates marched by way of 
Magnesia on the Maeander to Ephesus. From the first he had 
posed as a deliverer. Native troops who had surrendered were set 
free and provided with means to reach their homes. But while the 
majority of the cities of Asia, deprived as they were of any means 
of offering resistance, are said to have welcomed him, nevertheless 
some resistance was encountered 2 , and it is indeed probable that 
this was greater than appears in the literary sources. Parts of 
Paphlagonia were still unsubdued even after Ionia had been 
overrun 3 . The town of Magnesia ad Sipylum survived an assault 
by Archelaus, who was himself wounded in the fighting 4 . But the 
strongest resistance was offered in the south-west. In Caria 
Tabae 5 and Stratoniceia stood by the Romans, the latter under- 
going a siege of some duration before it was compelled to sur- 
render 6 . In Lycia and Pamphylia, which are said by Appian 7 to 
have been subjugated, a successful resistance was maintained by 
some of the cities throughout the war* From Telmessus and 
other Lycian towns reinforcements were being sent to Rhodes at 
the time of the siege (p. 243). Patara withstood a siege, and the 
country as a whole was rewarded by Sulla for its loyalty at the end 
of the war 8 . At a later stage we find the cities of Pamphylia 
contributing ships to Lucullus' fleet, and an inscription records the 
fidelity and losses of the city of Termessus, which commands the 
pass between Pamphylia and the Milyas 9 . 

The behaviour of Ephesus is perhaps typical of the, attitude of 
the cities of Asia. After the defeat of the Roman forces it had at 

1 On the satraps see Appian, Mithr. 21, 46. One of them, Leonnatus, 
is mentioned in Ditt. 3 741, and seems to have been appointed to Ephesus 
before Mithridates himself arrived on the coast. At a later date (Appian, 
Afithr.) 48) we find Philopoemen, the father-in-law of Mithndates, estab- 
lished as episkopos at Ephesus, and hear of * tyrants' in other cities, e.g. at 
Colophon (Plutarch, Lucullus, 3), Trail es (Strabo xiv, 649), Adramyttium 
(id. xni, 614), 2 So Memnon, 31. 

3 Appian, Mithr. 21. The resistance was perhaps organised by a native 
chieftain, if there is any basis for the statement in Orosius vi, 2 (c Eutro- 
pius v, 5), pulsis ex ea (i.e. Paphlagonia) Pylaemene et Nicomede regibus. 

4 Pausanias i, 20, 5; Plutarch, Mor. 809 cj Livy, Epit. 81. 

5 O.GJ.S. 442. 6 Appian, Mithr. 21 ; O.G.LS. 441. 7 Mithr. 23. 
8 Appian, Mithr. 615 cf. O.GJ.S. 551, * Bruns, Fontes\ 14. 

C.A.H. IX 


first remained loyal, offering sanctuary to refugees and serving as 
the port from which a number were enabled to make their escape 
to Rhodes. But on the approach of the Pontic army the Ephesians 
without resistance admitted the enemy within their gates, and 
once in the power of Mithridates proceeded to give such demon- 
strations as were possible of devotion to their new master. Once 
the possibility of Roman protection had vanished, similar demon- 
strations were made elsewhere, and Mithridates, greeted as the 
preserver of Asia, the new Dionysus 1 , conferred liberal benefits on 
individual cities 2 , cancelling debts and conferring five years 
immunity from taxation throughout the province (Justin, 
xxxvin, 3, 7). ^ 

One thing more was needed to convince the province that the 
rule of Rome was at an end, and it was deliberate policy that urged 
Mithridates to issue the orders which were to incriminate the 
Greek cities for ever in the eyes of Rome. Secret instructions were 
sent to the satraps and to the city governments for a simultaneous 
massacre of Romans and Italians throughout the province. At 
Ephesus, Pergamum and other cities refugees were torn from the 
sanctuaries and butchered, it is said, to the number of 80,000. 
How far would the Greeks without the strongest compulsion have 
dared such an action ? The case of Tralles, where the citizens hired 
a barbarian to do the work for them 3 , is typical a sorry attempt 
to carry out the orders of Mithridates without incriminating 
themselves too deeply with the Romans. The feelings of the 
unfortunate citizens must have been shared by many other 
states in Asia. 

In the meantime, the small Roman fleet, which at the beginning 
of the war had been stationed at Byzantium, had dispersed or 
surrendered to Mithridates, whose fleet now appeared in over- 
whelming strength in the Aegean. We have no means of arriving" 
at an exact estimate of its numbers, which are said to have reached 
the total of 300 decked ships and 100 biremes, exclusive of the 
substantial additions made by the squadrons of the , Cilician 
pirates (see below, p, 352), The attitude of the islanders was much 

1 Diodorus, xxxvii, a ^; Cicero, pro Flacco y 25, 60. For the thiasos of 
Eupatoristae and the Mithridates vase see Q.G.LS. 367 and 370 and 
Reinach, of. citi p. 284 and Plate iiL 

a Enlargement of the area of asylum at Ephesus (Strabo xiv, 641)5 repair 

ferred on Tralles (Cicero, pro flacco, 2$, 59)5 maintenance of Mutia at 
Smyrna (Cicero, n in Ferr. ii, 21, 51). In the maintenance of the festival 
founded in honour of Mucius Scaevola one can see a deliberate policy. 
3 Dio, frag, 1015 Appian, Mithr. 2,3+ 


the same as that of the cities of the mainland. While the people of 
Mytilene surrendered Aquilius and other officers, the inhabitants 
of Cos refused to withdraw the protection of their sanctuary from 
Roman fugitives 1 . On the other hand, they received Mithridates 
without resistance and surrendered to him the son of Ptolemy 
Alexander, King of Egypt, who had been sent to the island by his 
grandmother Cleopatra, together with her treasures and 800 
talents of the temple-money deposited in the island by the Jews 
of Asia 2 . Indeed, with the disappearance of the Roman fleet no 
serious resistance could be offered, nor, with the exception of the 
Rhodians, did any of the islanders attempt it. 

In the early days of the war Rhodes had provided a refuge for 
all the Romans who had made good their escape from Asia. 
Previously the republic had maintained good relations with 
Mithridates 3 , but, in spite of the danger to be expected from any 
resistance to the king, held fast to its traditional friendship with 
Rome, and trusted in the skill of its seamen and strength of its 
fortifications to resist until the Romans were in a position once 
more to offer protection. Since Mithridates is said to have found 
it necessary to raise a fleet specially for the attack on Rhodes 4 , it is 
probable that his main armaments had already been dispatched 
across the Aegean. When his preparations had been completed, 
he put to sea in overwhelming strength (autumn, 8 8), drove back 
the Rhodian navy, and effected a landing on the island. The 
transports bringing his main forces had not yet arrived, and 
Mithridates was able to make little progress in his assaults on the 
city. Meanwhile the Rhodians 3 who had drawn off the bulk of 
their fleet from the first engagement, vigorously di$puted the 
command of the sea, twice gaining successes over the king's fleet 
and inflicting heavy losses on the transports,, which had at last 
sailed from the Carian coast but were scattered by bad weather. 
The arrival, however, of the remainder gave Mithridates the 
numerical superiority which he required for an attack on the town. 
A formal blockade was out of the question, since the winter 
season was close at hand, and Mithridates attempted to capture 
the town by assault. After a night attack by land and sea had 
proved a fiasco, Mithridates brought up against the walls on the 
sea side an immense flying bridge, known as the sambuca^ which 
was carried on two warships lashed together and could be hoisted 

1 Tacitus, ^nn, iv, 14. 

2 Josephus, Ant, Jud. xiv (vii> 2), 112 sqq. On the whole episode se$ 
Relnach., op. ctt. p. 183, 

3 Cicero, n in Verr, n, 65, 159. 4 Appian, Mithr. 22. 

1 6 z 


by an arrangement of pulleys from the masthead so as to overtop 
the city wall (see vol. vm, p. 66). As the sambuca was brought into 
position, a general assault with rams and scaling ladders was to be 
delivered from the sea. Fortunately, however, for the Rhodians 
and not, it was said, without the assistance of Isis, the site of 
whose temple had been chosen as the place of assault, the sambuca 
collapsed under its own weight, and with the failure of this last 
assault Mithridates retired from his undertaking before winter 
set in. 


Before the attack on Rhodes the main fleets of Mithridates had 
already crossed the Aegean and carried the war into Greece 1 , The 
situation was not unfavourable for the intervention of a new 
Antiochus. The governor of Macedonia, C. Sentius, had for some 
time (since 91 B.C.) been occupied with Thracian incursions 2 , 
which on one occasion had penetrated as far as Dodona. There is 
nothing improbable in the view 3 that the attacks of the barbarians, 
with whom he could easily maintain communication from his 
Bosporan dominions, had been instigated by Mithridates himself. 
His agents were active also in Greece, and soon after the conquest 
of Asia a deputation arrived from Athens, which was ripe at this 
time for a popular uprising against the aristocratic form of 
government favoured by Rome, with one of them, a certain 
Aristion 4 , a Peripatetic philosopher of servile origin, at its head, 
Aristion was received with every mark of favour and in his 
despatches did his utmost to persuade the Athenians both of the 
greatness of Mithridates* power and of the political and financial 
advantages which would accrue to them, if they embraced the 
cause of the king. On his return to Athens, where he was received 
with an extravagant welcome, Aristion, with the wildest tales of 
Mithridates' successes and lavish promises of benefits to come, 
completely won over the Athenian people and had himself elected 
hoplite general, nominating his colleagues 5 . His opponents, the 
aristocratic party in Athens, were murdered and their property 

1 See Map 3. 2 Lj vy> jg^. ^ ^ 3 c Die, frag. IOK 

4 Posidonius (ap. Athenaeus v, 21 1 F) calls him Athenion, his father's 
name. By other writers he is called Aristion and this name occurs on coins 
struck in Athens at this time. Since Posidonius' account closes with the 
Delos fiasco it has been supposed that Athenion was suppressed as the result 
and Aristion established in his place by Archelaus. See the full discussion of 
the question in W. S. Ferguson, Hellenistic Athens, p. 447. 

5 Before July, 88 B.c^ see Ferguson, op. cit. p. 444, n. i. 


confiscated, many of those who sought to escape from Attica 
being brought back and put to death. 

The military value of the Athenians themselves to Mithridates 
was of course negligible. Their attempt to seize the island of 
Delos under Apellicon, a creature of Aristion > s > ended in complete 
disaster, but Mithridates had now in the Piraeus a port of entry 
into Greece and a base from which the whole country could be 
overrun. Accordingly the fleets of Mithridates set sail from Asia 
under Archelaus. On the voyage the Cyclades were occupied 
without difficulty and the Romans were once more expelled from 
Delos or put to death. On his arrival in Athens Archelaus 
provided Aristion with a bodyguard to hold the town for Mithri- 
dates while he himself secured southern Greece. To the north a 
Pontic squadron under Metrophanes 1 had occupied Euboea, and 
was attacking the fortress of Demetrias and the territory of the 

It seemed as if the whole of Greece "would fall into Mithridates' 
power before the relieving army under Sulla could leave Italy. 
Fortunately for the Romans., however, Sentius was able to 
detach a small force under his legate Q, Bruttius Sura, who 
drove back Metrophanes from the Thessalian coast and with the 
ships at his disposal regained the island of Sciathos, which had 
been used by the invaders as a storehouse for their plunder. 
Bruttius then advanced into Boeotia, all of which Archelaus had 
won for Mithridates with the exception of Thespiae, to which he 
laid siege. Three engagements are said to have been fought in the 
neighbourhood of Chaeronea, as the result of which the Pontic 
advance was definitely checked and Archelaus was compelled to 
fall back on his base in Attica 2 . 

At this point the advance-guard of Sulla's army arrived in 
Boeotia under his quaestor L. Lucullus, from whom Bruttius 

1 Appian, Mithr. 2,9, Plutarch (Sulla y 1 1) assigns the conquest of Euboea 
to Archelaus, no doubt Metrophanes was his subordinate. Compare the 
similar case of Dorylaus and Zenobius in the affair of Chios (below, p. 254). 

2 Plutarch, Sulla, 1 1. Appian, Mithr. 29, after describing the reconquest 
of Sciathos, states that Bruttius, receiving reinforcements to the number of 
i ooo from Macedon, advanced into Boeotia, where he fought a three days' 
battle with Archelaus. When, however, Archelaus was joined by the Lace- 
daemonians and Achaeans Bruttius withdrew to the Piraeus, from which he 
was forced to retire when Archelaus brought up his fleet. This is clearly- 
absurd. Plutarch's statement is that after the engagements at Chaeronea 
Bruttius drove Archelaus back to the sea. We have little guidance as to the 
precise chronology of Bruttius* campaign, which seems to have taken place in 
the autumn and winter of 887 B.C. 


received orders to rejoin Sentius in Macedonia, now threatened by 
the advance of a new Pontic army through Thrace. ^ The value of 
Bruttius' work had been enormous. By his Boeotian campaign 
northern Greece had been saved from Archelaus., so that Sulla, 
who had landed with five legions and a small force of cavalry and 
of auxiliaries, was able to raise reinforcements and provisions in 
Aetolia and Thessaly, while the cities of Boeotia at once returned 
to their allegiance. Sulla concentrated his energies at once on 
the reduction of Athens and the Piraeus, into which after a 
successful engagement 1 he drove Archelaus and Aristion. 

Nevertheless, apart altogether from his relations with the 
Roman government (see p, 265), which rendered the receipt of 
reinforcements and supplies from home impossible, Sulla's 
position was extremely hazardous. With the near presence of the 
enemy and in view of the exactions which Sulla was compelled to 
levy in order to supply his own troops, dangerous outbreaks 
might easily occur among the Greek states. While Archelaus held 
command of the sea, his garrison in the Piraeus could be supplied 
and reinforced as necessary, and Sulla's communications through 
Boeotia were threatened by Neoptolemus based on Euboea and the 
fortress of Chalcis. To meet this danger Sulla was compelled to 
detach a force under Munatius to Boeotia,, while another division 
under L. Hortensius, which had sailed from Italy after the main 
body, was diverted northwards to Thessaly to operate against the 
Pontic army advancing by land. Funds were raised for the payment 
of the Roman troops by the seizure of the treasures belonging to 
the Greek shrines, Epidaurus, Olympia and Delphi being the 
principal sufferers 2 , and later in the year, the Rhodians being 
unable to put to sea, Lucullus was sent out to raise a fleet* 

Sulla's first task was the reduction of the fortresses in Attica, 
where the ^Piraeus was held by Archelaus himself, Aristion com- 
manding in Athens 3 . Realizing the necessity for speed ? Sulla 
detached part of his army to invest Athens, while he himself 
attempted to carry the Piraeus by assault. The strength of the 
fortifications was such that no impression could be made by this 
form of attack and Sulla withdrew to Eleusis and Megara to pre- 
pare for a formal investment. The problem facing him differed in 
the case of the two fortresses. Whereas Athens, no longer connected 
with the sea by the Long Walls, was in itself of less account 
strategically and could be reduced by blockade, the Piraeus, until 

1 Mentioned only by Pausariias i, 2o a 5. 

2 Plutarch, Sulla, 125 Diodorus xxxVm, 7. 

3 For coins struck by him at Athens see Volume of Plates iv, 4, d 9 e* 


such time as Sulla could raise a fleet capable of offering battle to 
the king's fleet, could be attacked only on the land side and might 
be provisioned and reinforced by the enemy at will. Moreover, in 
the event of Sulla being forced to retire northwards to meet the 
army commanded by the king's son Ariarathes 1 , Archelaus would 
advance from the Piraeus against the rear of the Roman army. 

With a part of the Roman army blockading Athens, the force 
attacking the Piraeus was from the outset outnumbered by the 
garrison 2 . Nevertheless Sulla, having prepared his engines of 
assault, the material for which was derived largely from Thebes, 
once more advanced against the Piraeus, The second assault, which 
took place in the late summer of 87, was conducted with an even 
greater vigour. As his engines collapsed or were destroyed by the 
enemy, timber for repairs was ruthlessly cut in the groves of the 
Academy and Lyceum., the remains of the Long Walls being used 
for raising mounds against the fortifications. His agents within 
the Piraeus, moreover, kept Sulla informed of the intentions of 
the enemy, so that on two occasions sorties of the garrison were 
beaten back with heavy loss. Archelaus, however, twice reinforced 
by sea, still maintained his superiority in numbers, and continually 
increased the strength of his fortifications where danger threatened, 
or by small sallies destroyed the Roman works. 

The pressure was maintained until the beginning of winter, 
when Sulla withdrew part of his army to his base at Eleusis, 
maintaining, however, the blockade of Athens. Although his 
cavalry were raiding up to Eleusis itself, Archelaus was unable to 
penetrate the cordon round the capital, where there was already 
imminent danger of famine. Accordingly, although the attacks 
on the Piraeus were renewed before the spring^ the weakened 
state of the garrison of Athens offered hope of a speedy reduction 
of the town, which would enable Sulla to concentrate all his 
energies on the Piraeus. The Piraeus, therefore, was temporarily 

1 He is called Arcathias by Appian, Ariarathes "by Plutarch. 

2 This is stated definitely by Appian, Mithr. 31. Kromayer's view 
(jfntike Schlachtfelder y n, p. 39 1 ) that at the beginning of the siege Archelaus* 
forces must have been smaller than those of Sulla is not here accepted. His 
retirement to the Piraeus was a part of the general strategic scheme. 

3 The sequence of events is given by Appian, Mithr. 34 sq. Archelaus' 
attempt to provision Athens took place on the same day as the defeat of 
Neoptolemus near Chalcis by Munatius (in which Reinach [op. cit. p. 160] 
rightly sees an attempt on the part of the Chalcis garrison to create a diversion 
which would diminish the pressure on Athens). This was shortly followed by 
a night attack on the Piraeus* after which the assaults, discontinued during 
the winter 3 were regularly renewed. 


masked on the land side 1 , while the assaults on Athens became 
more intense. A deputation from the commandant, whose con- 
duct during the siege was making him more and more odious to 
the inhabitants, was rejected, and a final effort on the part of 
Archelaus to relieve the town was beaten back. Sulla now received 
information that Aristion had neglected to secure the approaches 
to the Heptachalcum, between the Sacred and the Piraeic Gates, 
where the defences were weakest, and at this point ordered the 
final assault to be delivered. The starving defenders, reduced, it is 
said, to feed on human flesh, could offer little resistance, and the 
town, which fell on March 1st, 86, was given over to massacre 
and pillage, although in memory of their past achievements the 
city of the Athenians was spared from utter destruction. The 
tyrant himself made his escape to the Acropolis, first burning the 
Odeum in order that the beams might not be used for siege- 
engines. After resisting for some weeks, he was forced by lack 
of water to surrender to C. Curio, who had been left behind by 
Sulla to carry on the siege, when he himself marched north. 

Sulla was now free to return to his attacks on the Piraeus. 
Although Archelaus fought every inch, one by one the defences 
succumbed to the violence of the Roman assaults, now rendered 
more intense by the imminence of the danger from the north. At 
last the garrison was confined to the peninsula of Munychia, which, 
protected on the sea side by a fleet, was impregnable. But Sulla's 
work was done. The Piraeus, laid in ruins, could no longer serve 
the enemy as a base, and Archelaus withdrew the remainder of his 
forces to his ships, finally effecting a junction with the northern 
army in Thessaly. 

The heroic defence of the Piraeus had been stultified by the 
dilatory advance of the army under Ariarathes, who seems to have 
taken the view that the purpose of his mission was to create a 
kingdom for himself in Thrace and wasted valuable time in 
endeavouring to organize the conquered territory. We hear of 
little resistance being offered in Thrace itself, but with the 
approach of winter the difficulties of feeding the army were great 
and, until Amphipolis fell, threatened to endanger its safety. In 
Macedonia some resistance was encountered from the Roman 
ttoops in the province and from the inhabitants 2 , and a further 
delay was caused by the illness and death of the king's son at the 
Tisaean promontory in Magnesia shortly before the capitulation 
of Athens, 

1 If we may so interpret the final words of Appian, Mithr. 37. 

2 Memnon, 323 Licinianus, p. 27 F. 


After joining the northern army, Archelaus took over the com- 
mand of the united forces from Taxiles, the successor of Ariarathes 3 
and advanced southwards by Thermopylae. In the meantime 
Sulla had marched northwards. His advance was criticized on the 
ground that the Boeotian plains would provide a favourable 
terrain for the enemy's cavalry; but Sulla rightly realized the 
difficulty of feeding his troops in Attica, and, moreover, was 
anxious for the safety of the division under Hortensius ? whose 
retreat from Thessaly was cut off by the Pontic occupation of 
Phocis, where Taxiles was now attacking Elatea 1 * Hortensius, 
however, extricated himself by a skilful march, apparently by the 
Asopus gorge and along the north-eastern slopes of Parnassus by 
Tithorea, joining Sulla at Patronis on the southern edge of the 
plain of Elatea, Their united forces then occupied the hill of 
Philoboeotus, a detached eminence rising- from the plain 2 . Their 
strength is given as 15,000 infantry and 1500 cavalry. Opposed 
to them was an army perhaps three times as numerous 3 . 

The march northwards to join Hortensius had brought Sulla 
on to ground on which he had no intention of giving battle, 
The hill of Philoboeotus was easily defensible in itself and the 
approaches were further strengthened by trenches thrown up on 
the Cephisus, the course of which is said to have been thereby 
diverted. But the open plain of southern Phocis would enable 
Archelaus to make full use of his superiority in numbers and 
especially of his cavalry. For two days therefore Sulla remained on 
Philoboeotus and refused battle. His position., however, was a 
dangerous one, since enemy raiding parties were plundering as 
far south as Lebadea, and it was essential for him to maintain his 
communications with the south by way of the valley of the 

1 Pausanias i, 20, 6, places the attack on Elatea before the capture of 
Athens, but obviously means the surrender of the Acropolis under Aristion, 
which clearly took place about the time of the battle of Chaeronea (c x, 
34, 2). 

2 Plutarch's description of Philoboeotus (Sulla , 16) makes Leake's 
identification of it with Parori, a spur of Parnassus above the pass from 
Phocis to Boeotia, impossible. Kromayer's topography, including his identifi- 
cation of Philoboeotus with Kravassara, is here followed throughout. 

3 Plutarch (Sulla , 15) makes the northern army number 120,000 foot, 
10,000 cavalry and go chariots on its arrival in Greece. Appian (Mithr. 41, 
cf. 45), who says that it had been made up by reinforcements to its original 
figure, gives 120,000 in all, Sulla's troops being less than one-third. Livy, 
Epit. 82, reckons the Pontic dead at 100,000. Memnon (32) gives the Pontic 
total at Chaeronea as over 60,000, which agrees with Appian*s estimate 
of the relative strength of the two armies. 


Cephisus and by Chaeronea. After leaving Phocis the river 
flows through a narrow pass between the eastern spurs of Par- 
nassus (the modern Parori) on the right bank and Mt Hedylium 
(modern Belesi) on the left. The northern end of the pass is 
commanded by the acropolis of Parapotamii, a rocky hill above 
the left bank of the river connected with Mt Hedylium by a 
low saddle. When therefore the enemy advanced towards the 
pass with the intention of occupying Parapotamii Sulla hurriedly 
forestalled them and seized the position. A second attempt on the 
part of Archelaus to cut Sulla's communications by seizing 
Chaeronea was similarly anticipated by Sulla, who sent a legion to 
garrison the town. Archelaus' move on Chaeronea was a strate- 
gical error of the first importance. Since the valley of the Cephisus 
was closed to him by Sulla's occupation of Parapotamii, it is clear 
that he reached northern Boeotia by an alternative, though difficult, 
route to the east of Hedylium 1 , which brought him down to the 
low ground between that hill and Mt Acontium, where we find his 
main body encamped. Sulla at once marched southwards from 
Parapotamii and established himself at the southern entrance to 
the pass, under Mt Hedylium and opposite the main body of the 
enemy. Archelaus accordingly was faced with the alternative of 
fighting a general action on ground unsuited to his cavalry and 
chariots, or of retiring by the difficult route to the coast. He had, 
however, sent a strong force to occupy the high ground of Mt 
Thurium above Chaeronea which could threaten the town itself 
and the flank of the Romans. Sulla, therefore, leaving his 
lieutenant L. Murena with a legion and two cohorts encamped 
opposite Archelaus, himself took up a position by Chaeronea, and 
sent a detachment to take in reverse the position on Mt Thurium, 

This manoeuvre enabled Sulla to force the general action which 
he desired. The enemy, dislodged from Thurium, fled northwards 
to rejoin the main body, suffering heavy losses from Murena's 
troops on the way. When Archelaus sent out his chariots and 
cavalry to cover the retreat, Sulla swiftly advanced his right to 
reduce the interval between the two armies and close the gap 
between his own force and Murena's division. To meet any out- 
flanking movement by the enemy's cavalry, strong detachments 
under IJortensius and Galba were posted in reserve. 

The main battle opened with a charge of sixty of the enemy's 

chariots* whfch proved ineffective except in so far as it enabled the 

Pontic phalanx to come into action. Though formed, it is said> 

mainly of liberated slaves from the Asiatic cities, the phalanx put 

1 See Kromayer, op. cit* n, p. 366, 


up a stout resistance, which enabled Archelaus to carry out the 
expected flanking movement with his cavalry against the Roman 
left. To meet this danger, Hortensius, as had been arranged, came 
down with his reserve of five cohorts, but by the skilful tactics of 
Archelaus found himself cut off from Murena and in imminent 
danger of being surrounded. Sulla at once gathered his cavalry and 
crossed hastily from the right wing to succour his left, but on 
seeing his approach Archelaus disengaged his cavalry and began 
to transfer them to the other wing against the now weakened 
Roman right. This was the critical moment of the battle. With 
either wing broken the Roman army would have been surrounded 
and destroyed. Ordering Hortensius with four cohorts to 
support Murena, now engaged in repelling an attack by a corps 
d* elite under Taxiles, Sulla himself with his cavalry, one cohort of 
Hortensius* force and two fresh cohorts hitherto in reserve 1 , 
returned with all possible speed to his original position and was in 
time to throw his whole right forward and fling the enemy, who 
had not yet re-formed after Archelaus' manoeuvre, back across the 
Cephisus towards Mt Acontiumu At the same time the troops of 
Murena and Hortensius had repulsed Taxiles on the left and were 
ready to join in a general advance. 

The defeat of the enemy now became a rout. As the Romans 
advanced, they were pressed against the rocks of Mt Acontium or 
crushed in the narrow space between Acontium and Hedylium, 
Archelaus in vain endeavoured to rally his troops in front of the 
camp and closed the gates against the flying multitude. When the 
gates at length were opened, the Romans burst in with the 
fugitives, and of the king's army some 10,000 alone made their 
escape with Archelaus to Chalcis. It was a hard-won ^battle 
which attests Sulla's skill and does not need his embellishment 
that the Roman losses amounted to fourteen men, two of whom 
returned before night. The Roman victory was made complete by 
the destruction of the Pontic foraging parties as they returned, 
ignorant of what had happened, to the camp. 

Sulla sought by a forced march with his light troops to inter- 
cept Archelaus at the Euripus but failing to do so withdrew to 
Athens, where the Acropolis had surrendered about the same time 
as the battle of Chaeronea took place 2 . The Thebans were 
heavily punished for their past misconduct, being compelled to 
surrender half their land, which was made over to the gods whose 

1 So Plutarch, Sulla, 195 Appian, Mithr. 43. Probably a reserve to the 
right wing^ and commanded by Galba, 

2 Licinianus, p, 24 ar . ; Pausanias i, 20, 2. 


treasuries Sulla had robbed at the beginning of the war*. ^In 
Athens the partisans of Aristion were put to death, but Aristion 
himself for the present was kept alive. No further penalties, 
however, were inflicted on the Athenians, who, with the partisans 
of Rome once more established in power, were allowed to retain 
their liberty 2 . 

For the time being the Greek mainland was cleared of the enemy, 
but Euboea and the fortress of Chalcis remained in the hands of 
Archelaus, whose command of the sea was unimpaired. From 
Chalcis his fleet carried out a series of raids on the Greek coast as 
far as the island of Zacynthos, and penetrating into the Adriatic 
had destroyed a number of the transports carrying the advance- 
guard of Flaccus, who had been appointed by the Roman govern- 
ment to take over the command from Sulla and was already on his 
way (summer, 86). Chaeronea, therefore, had brought no more 
than a temporary respite to Sulla. With the prospect of a fresh 
Pontic army arriving in central Greece by sea, there could as yet 
be no -thought of carrying the war by land to Asia Minor. A 
march northwards against the army of Flaccus would enable the 
enemy to recover central Greece without a blow if Sulla's plans 
miscarried and if Mithridates could expedite the arrival of the new 
army. Sulla, accordingly, took up a position at Melitaea in 
Phthiotis on the western slopes of Mt Othrys, from which the 
main route from Thessaly to Lamia could be watched, and from 
which he could return quickly to Boeotia in the event of any 
movement by Archelaus. All the strategical advantages therefore 
were once more in the hands of Archelaus. Reinforced during the 
summer of 86 by Dorylaus with an army which is said to have 
numbered 8o,ooo 3 , Archelaus crossed from Chalcis and while 
detachments of his army ravaged Boeotia, took up a position in the 
plain of Orchomenus, where his cavalry and chariots could have 
free play. Once more the Boeotians went over to the enemy* 

The new development brought Sulla back at once to Boeotia, 
where he took up his position opposite Archelaus. Outnumbered 
as he was and operating on ground which was entirely in favour 

1 Plutarch, Sulla 9 19; Pausanias ix, 7, 4. 

Livy, Epit* 8 1 j Strabo ix, 398. For the arrangements in Athens, made 
probably at the end of the war, see Ferguson, op. tit. p. 456. 

3 So Appian, Mithr. 49, and Plutarch, Sulla, 20; the text of Licinianus 
seems to give Dorylaus 65,000 infantry, 15,000 cavalry and 70 chariots. 
Orosius vi, 2, 6, and Eiitropius v, 6, 3 give 70,000. We have no figures 
from Memnon but if his original total of 150,000 (see above, p. 240, n, 2) 
is correct, Dorylaus 9 force cannot have exceeded 20,000* 


of the enemy, Sulla sought to protect his flanks by cutting trenches 
ten feet wide to circumscribe the action of the enemy cavalry and 
force them towards the marshes of Copais. While the Romans 
were thus engaged, Archelaus delivered a general attack. His 
cavalry, posted on the two wings, surprised the working parties 
and threw back the detachments which were covering them. The 
Roman left seemed about to give way, when Sulla, riding forward, 
leapt from his horse and by his personal example rallied his men. 
The arrival of two cohorts from the right enabled them to drive 
back the enemy and regain the line of their entrenchments, on 
which the enemy delivered a second and still more furious attack 1 . 
In the centre Archelaus had posted his chariots, supported as at 
Chaeronea by the phalanx, with a detachment of heavy-armed 
troops and renegade Italians in reserve. To meet the charge of the 
chariots Sulla had drawn up his centre in three ranks with wide 
intervals between the flanks of detachments. As the chariots 
charged they became involved in the stakes planted by the second 
rank, behind which the front rank of the Romans withdrew, and at 
the same time they were assaulted by the Roman cavalry and light- 
armed, issuing by the intervals in the Roman line. Terrified by the 
shouts and weapons of the enemy the chariot horses bolted back 
on to the phalanx and involved it also in their panic. When 
Archelaus endeavoured to stop the rout by withdrawing his 
cavalry from the wings, Sulla charged it with his horse and drove 
the whole army headlong to its camp. The enemy had left some 
15,000 dead on the field and were thoroughly demoralized. On 
the following day therefore Sulla proceeded to enclose their camp 
with a ditch. An attempt of the enemy to interrupt the work was 
thrown back and in the resulting confusion the Roman troops 
carried the camp by storm. The invasion of Greece was at ,an end, 
The remnants of the Pontic army were driven into the marshes of 

1 The accounts in Plutarch, Sulla , 2 1 , and Appian, Mithr. 49, refer mainly 
to the fighting on the wings (especially the left), which as at Chaeronea was 
the most critical. Frontinus (Strat. n, 3, 17) cannot, as has been supposed, 
refer to Chaeronea. He gives us valuable information regarding Ardielaus* 
formation, namely that his cavalry was disposed on either wing "with the 
chariots and phalanx in the centre. From Plutarch we learn that it was the 
Roman working parties and the covering troops (i.e. those on the flanks, cf. 
Frontinus: Sulla fossas. . .utroque latere duxit; Plutarch: e/carepfoQev) 
which were surprised at the first onset, Appian stating that this happened Sta 
Seo<? r&v LTTTTCOV. The enemy's losses were chiefly in cavalry, i.e. were lost in 
the fighting on the wings. Since reinforcements were brought from the 
right, it would seem that it was the Roman left which gave way at the beglnr 
ning of the battle. 


Copais. Archeiaus himself after hiding two days in the swamps at 
length reached the coast and escaped in a small boat to Chalcis, 
where he sought to rally any detachments of the king's troops that 
remained in Greece. 


Although he was not yet in a position to carry the war into Asia 
Minor, the news of Sulla's victories produced, as was to be 
expected;, a remarkable change of heart among the cities of Asia. The 
appointment of governors and tyrants (see above, p. 241, n. i) was 
scarcely calculated to maintain the first enthusiasm of the Greek 
cities for Mithridates, and the exactions and levies which were 
necessitated by the sending of a second army to Greece after 
Chaeronea increased their discontent. The first serious outbreak 
arose among the Galatians, whose leading men had been treach- 
erously seized and murdered by the king at a banquet, on the 
ground of a plot against his life. The survivors raised rebellion 
throughout Galatia, expelling the king's satrap and his garrisons 1 . 

We next hear of trouble in the island of Chios, against which 
Mithridates is said to have borne a grudge since the time when a 
Chian ship had fouled his own in the operations off Rhodes. The 
Roman party in Chios was strong, and after confiscating the 
property of those who had fled, Mithridates, who suspected the 
Chians of being in communication with Sulla, gave orders for a 
detachment of the fleet of Dorylaus to occupy the island on its 
way to Greece 2 . The. town walls were occupied by night, the 
citizens disarmed and hostages furnished to the king's officer 
Zenobius. A fine of 2000 talents was next imposed, but, accused 
by Zenobius of giving short weight, the defenceless inhabitants 
were carried off to Mithridates who ordered them to be trans- 
ported to Colchis 3 . On the voyage, however, they were fre^cu^d by 
the people of Heraclea 4 . The fate of Chios was a warning to the 
rest of the treatment which they also might expect. When 
Zenobius presented himself before Ephesus, the inhabitants 

Appian, Mithr. 46, 58; Plutarch, Mor. 259 A ax 

* This gives us some indication of date. Reinach, op. cit. p. 182, places the 
episode "before Chaeronea. In Appian, Mithr* 46, the officer charged with 
this task was Zenobius^ crrpaTb&v dytov a>? es r?]v f EXhd$a. Memnon, 33, 
says it was Dorylaus, Obviously Zenobius was detached from Dorylaus' 
forces on their way to reinforce Archeiaus after Chaeronea. 

3 Nicolaus Damasc., frag. 95; Posidonius, frag. 38. 4 


refused to admit his troops, and after deliberation arrested the 
king's officer and put him to death. A decree records the revolt of 
the city, its claim to have preserved throughout its good will 
towards Rome and the nature of the measures now taken for 
defence against the 'King of Cappadocia' 1 . The example of 
Ephesus was followed by a number of cities, among which are 
mentioned Tralles, Smyrna and Colophon. Some were recovered 
and brutally punished 2 , but to prevent the revolt spreading, 
Mithridates, while nominally granting freedom to the Greek 
cities, increased the number of his partisans by the cancellation of 
debts, the freeing of slaves and extensions of citizenship. Even so 
conspiracies, real or imaginary, against his life drove Mithridates 
to organize a reign of terror against those suspected of good will 
towards Rome. On the information of his spies some eighty 
citizens of Pergamum were executed, and a conservative estimate 
puts the number of his victims in the province at 1 6oo 3 , 

After the battle of Orchomenus further punishment had been 
inflicted by Sulla on Boeotia, and three of the coastal towns des- 
troyed to prevent them being used by the enemy still in Euboea. 
He then marched northwards to Thessaly, to await the arrival of 
the army of Flaccus, and took up his quarters for the winter. 
Being still without news of Lucullus, he further set himself to build 
the fleet that was necessary for his projected invasion of Asia* In 
the meantime Flaccus had crossed from Italy with two legions, the 
advance-guard of which was now arriving in Thessaly (p. 266 .sy.). 
Flaccus, greedy and incompetent, was unpopular with his troops, 
many of whom began to go over to Sulla. Further desertions, 
however, were prevented by his legatus Fimbria, but in the circum- 
stances it did not seem wisdom to try conclusions with Sulla, but 
rather to march direct to the Bosporus* Considerable hardships 
were endured in the course of a winter march through Thrace, 
and resistance was encountered from the Pontic garrisons which 
still remained. But on the capture of Philippi, the king's troops 
evacuated their remaining stronghold of Abdera and withdrew 
from Europe, On the march, Fimbria had granted the division 
under his command unlimited license to plunder, and when the 
inhabitants appealed to Flaccus, encouraged his men to disobey 
the orders for restitution. At Byzantium further divisions broke 
out between the general and his legatus. In view of their previous 
conduct Flaccus had ordered the troops to encamp outside the 
city. Fimbria seized the opportunity of Flaccus* absence to 

1 Ditt, 3 742. 2 Livy, Epit, 82, 

3 Appian, Mithr. 48. The figure of 20,000 in Orosius vt, 2* 8 is ludicrous. 


incite the legions to enter the city and billet themselves on the 
inhabitants, many of whom were killed in the disturbance. 
Later, when his division had already crossed into Asia, Fimbria 5 
who after a fresh quarrel with Flaccus was threatening to throw 
up his command, found himself superseded by the appointment of 
a certain Thermus. He accordingly left for Byzantium, ostensibly 
on his way to Rome, but raised the troops against Thermus, drove 
out Flaccus on his return, and pursuing him to Chalcedon and 
Nicomedeia had him put to death. In spite of its disapproval the 
Senate was compelled to confirm him in the command which he 
had thus assumed 1 . 

On the news of Orchomenus Mithridates had turned his thoughts 
towards peace and issued instructions to Archelaus to arrive at an 
accommodation with Sulla. He still had hopes of retaining his 
acquisitions in Asia, since Sulla was unable to move from Greece 
and, the army of Flaccus not yet having arrived in Asia, there were 
prospects of playing one commander off against the other. 
Archelaus contrived to open negotiations with Sulla through an 
agent, and a conference was arranged to take place at Aulis 2 . The 
conference was opened by Archelaus, who proposed that on the 
basis of the status quo Mithridates should conclude an alliance with 
Sulla and provide him with the shipping, funds and troops required 
to carry on the war with his enemies in Rome. The insult was met, 
as we should expect, by a counter-invitation to Archelaus to 
surrender the fleet which he still commanded and join the side of 
the Romans. 

The principals then proceeded to business, and a preliminary 
agreement was drafted in the following terms: the fleet com- 
manded by Archelaus to be surrendered to Sulla 3 ; prisoners, 
deserters and escaped slaves to be restored ; Mithridates to retire 
from all conquered territory, including Paphlagonia, and pay an 
indemnity of 2000 talents. In return Mithridates was once more 
to become the friend and ally of Rome. Although at the outset 
Archelaus had protested at the suggestion that he should betray 
his master, it is obvious that he was fearful about his reception by 

1 The account in Dio, frag. 104, has been followed. Memnon, 34, 
places the murder of Flaccus after both divisions had crossed into Bithynia, 

2 Licinianus, p. 26 F.$ Plutarch, Sulla, 22, says near Delium. 

3 So Appian, Mithr. 55, and Licinianus, p. 26 F. 5 Plutarch, Sulla, 22, 70 
ships j Memnon, 35 (who gives only the terms finally agreed at Dardanus), 
80 ships. Livy, Epit. 82: Archelaus cum classe regia Sullae se tradidit. 
Reinach, op. at. p. 197, regards the withdrawal of his garrisons by Archelaus 
and the surrender of the warships under his command as part of a secret 
agreement between Sulla and Archelaus. 


Mithridates and anxious to secure Sulla's goodwill. The fleet 
under his immediate command was immobilized or was actually 
surrenderee^ and the garrisons were withdrawn from the points 
which he still held. While the terms of the draft agreement were 
being conveyed to Mithridates > Archelaus remained as a dis- 
tinguished guest at Sulla's headquarters 3 receiving the utmost 
consideration when he fell ill at Larissa, and being gratified with 
the death of Aristion, still a prisoner in Sulla's hands 3 against 
whom he nourished a grievance for his incompetent handling of 
the defence of Athens, Now or later, Archelaus also received 
large estates in Euboea and the title of friend and ally of the 
Roman People. While awaiting the king's reply Sulla spent the 
summer of 85 in operations against the northern tribes who had 
been troubling Macedon 1 . 


During the early months of the year 8 5 the position of Mithri- 
dates was growing rapidly worse. Fimbria was conducting a 
highly successful-^ if brutal,, campaign against the king and the 
Greek cities alike. Heavy contributions were laid on all, the 
money being shared among his troops, while towns which 
offered the least resistance were ruthlessly plundered, amongst 
them Nicomedeia and, at a later stage, Cyzicus, into which he had 
been received as a friend, and Ilium, whose people had given 
offence by sending to Sulla for assistance 2 . Mithridates had 
endeavoured to oppose Fimbria's advance from Bithynia on the 
Rhyndacus, where a large army was collected under his son 
Mithridates, recalled for the purpose from Pontus and assisted 
by Taxiles and the ablest of the king's generals. In the face of a 
greatly superior army, the Roman troops forced the passage of the 
river, and attacking the camp of the enemy at dawn, surprised 
them in their tents and destroyed the greater part of the army 3 . 
The younger Mithridates himself escaped with a part of his 
cavalry to join the king at Pergamum. But Fimbria, following up 

1 Appian, Mithr, 55. Plutarch, Sulla y 2,3, puts these operations after the 
return of the ambassadors and during Archelaus' mission to Mithridates. 
On the strength of Licinianus, p. 27 F V Reinach (of. cit. p. 198) would place 
a campaign undertaken by Hortensius in the north immediately after the 
conference., and a second expedition undertaken by Sulla himself during 
Archelaus* mission to Mithridates. But the diplomatic situation was such 
that Sulla could hardly have absented himself at this stage. 

2 Livy, Epit. 83; Appian, Mithr. 535 Dio, frag. 1045 Strabo xm, 574* 

3 Memnon, 345 Frontinus, Strat. m, 17, 5. 

C.A.H. rx *7 


his victory, drove the king in flight to Pitane on the coast. He then 
beset the town on the land side, and sent an urgent message to 
Lucullus, who had at last arrived with something of a fleet and was 
cruising off the coast, to complete the blockade by sea. The 
language of the despatch, as given by Plutarch, was scarcely 
palatable to one of Sulla's partisans, nor was Fimbria's character 
likely to inspire confidence that he would abide by any agreement 
made with a political opponent. Lucullus refused to co-operate, 
and the great prize was lost 1 . 

Lucullus, it will be remembered, had been sent out by Sulla in 
the winter of 876 to raise a fleet among the maritime states of the 
East still loyal to Rome. With six vessels he had made his way 
through the enemy fleets to Crete and Cyrene. When the little 
squadron set sail for Egypt, most of it was lost to Mithridates* 
friends the pirates, and it was with difficulty that Lucullus himself 
made his way to Alexandria. Here he received a royal welcome 
from the Egyptian king together with a polite refusal to take part 
in the quarrel between Rome and Mithridates. He was, however, 
escorted in safety to Cyprus, where he was able to gather a few 
war vessels from the Cypriotes themselves, Phoenicia and 
Pamphylia* A year had elapsed since he had left Sulla. After 
spending part of the winter in Cyprus, Lucullus slipped through 
the enemy vessels which were waiting for him, and, as Sulla had 
ordered, joined his small squadron to that of the Rhodians in the 
spring of 85. The united fleet then proceeded to raise revolts 
among the islands and on the coast of Asia Minor. Cos and 
Cnidos were recovered, and the king's partisans driven out of 
Colophon and Chios. After refusing Fimbria's appeal at Pitane, 
Lucullus, sailing on northwards, defeated a Pontic squadron off 
the promontory of Lectum in the Troad, and in conjunction with 
the Rhodians overcame the fleet commanded by Neoptolemus off" 
Tenedos. Regaining communication with Sulla, who had now 
advanced to Cypsela, Lucullus entered the Hellespont and waited 
at Abydos to transport the Roman army to Asia Minor 2 . 

When the ambassadors from the king returned to Sulla, 
Mithridates professed himself ready to accept the terms offered, 
with the exception of the clauses ordering the surrender of a part 
of his fleet and the evacuation of Paphlagonia. At the same time 
he hinted that better terms could be obtained from Fimbria. 
Sulla refused to abate the least of his demands and sent Archelaus 
to reason with the king. With the successes of Fimbria in Asia and 

1 Appian, Mtthr* 52; Plutarch, Lucullus, 3. 

2 Plutarch, Lucullus , 2-3. 


of Lucullus at sea Mithridates* position was desperate. Rejoining 
Sulla at Philippi, Archelaus brought word that Mithridates now 
requested a conference. At Dardanus in the Troad Mithridates in 
person accepted the terms dictated by Sulla, and after being 
reconciled to Nicomedes and Ariobarzanes, withdrew by sea to 
Pontus (August, 85 B.C.). 

It is clear that considerable dissatisfaction was expressed by the 
army at the easy terms which had been granted to Mithridates, but 
Sulla excused himself on the ground that Fimbria and the king 
might have made common cause against him, and proceeded at 
once to deal with his rival. Fimbria had withdrawn southwards, 
and after carrying out a plundering raid through Phrygia was 
lying at Thyatira. When Sulla called upon him to surrender and 
began to enclose his camp, many of the Fimbrian troops deserted, 
others openly fraternized with Sulla's men, even to the extent of 
lending a hand in the works of circumvallation. Fimbria, having 
attempted unsuccessfully both to procure the assassination of 
Sulla and to bring him to an interview, fled in despair to Pergamum 1 , 
where he committed suicide. His two legions were added by 
Sulla to his own army, only a few of the more desperate making 
their way to Mithridates. 

There remained the settlement of affairs in Asia Minor. The 
states which had stood by Rome were suitably rewarded, Rhodes 
in particular receiving back a portion of the Peraea, which she 
lost after the Third Macedonian War (vol. vm, p. 289). Having 
sent Curio to restore Nicomedes and Ariobarzanes to their 
kingdoms, Sulla reduced such towns as still resisted in Asia, 
ordering the restoration to their masters of slaves set free by 
Mithridates, and punishing any further resistance or disobedience 
with slaughter, plundering and destruction of fortifications. 
Everywhere the partisans of the king were singled out for punish- 
ment. With the approach of the winter (854), Sulla provided for 
the comfort of the troops and the further punishment of the 
provincials by billeting his men on the inhabitants, special orders 
being issued for the entertainment of the soldiers and for their 
pay. Each legionary was to receive from his host the sum of 1 6 
drachmae a day, centurions 50 drachmae together with two suits of 
clothing. Finally an indemnity of 20,000 talents, the estimated 
cost of the war and of the five years' arrears of taxes, was imposed, 
for which purpose the province was divided into districts, each 

1 Appian, Mithr. 60 ; Plutarch, Sulla -, 25, places his death in the camp at 



responsible for a fixed proportion of the debt 1 . The system seems 
to have remained the basis for the later financial organization of 
Asia, but that the right of farming the taxes in the province was 
withdrawn from the Equites seems improbable 2 , well as it would 
have accorded with Sulla's political feelings towards that class. 

To raise the sums demanded was beyond the resources of the 
province. Recourse as usual was had to lenders,, and within a few 
years financiers and tax-farmers brought the country to despair. 
Not even the justice and fairness of Lucullus could make the 
burden tolerable. Shortly before his return to Rome in 80 B.C. 
Mitylene, which had incurred the especial displeasure of the 
Romans, ventured on a revolt that was not repressed without hard 
fighting. The coasts at the same time were being plundered by the 
pirates let loose during the war, with whom Sulla had no oppor- 
tunity to deal. Leaving Murena with the two Fimbrian legions to 
administer the province, Sulla sailed from Ephesus in the year 84, 
and after a few months spent in Greece, embarked his army for 
Italy. Besides the spoils and treasures which were reserved for 
his triumph he brought with him something of more permanent 
value the treatises of Aristotle, which after long concealment 
were now to be published to the world by scholars such as 
Tyrannio and Andronicus of Rhodes 3 . 

The crisis at Orchomenus had shown Sulla to be a soldier's 
general, but he was more than that. In strategy he was at once 
cool and daring, in tactics he was the first great master in the art 
of handling the more flexible weapon which the legions had be- 
come; in diplomacy he showed his hand had not lost its cunning. 
The rapid re-organization of Asia was, at the least, a great 
administrative feat and the Peace of Dardanus, if it was not a 
final settlement, gave Rome as well as Mithridates breathing- 
space. Having sacrificed his friends and imperilled his own 
career to meet the needs of Rome abroad, he was now to return 
to take vengeance and to reconstruct the Roman State. 

1 The number XLIV in Cassiqdorus, Ghron., is uncertain both on palaeo- 
graphical and other grounds. For the regioms see V, Chapot, Province 
romaine froconsulaire d*A$ie y pp. 89 sqq. 

* See T. Rice Holmes, The Roman Republic, i, p. 395, where the question 
is folly* discussed. 

* Plutarch, Suites 26, i; Strabo xin, 608 sq. See above, vol. vi, p. 




^VENTS in Rome and Italy during Sulla's absence in Greece 
^ are a sordid story, and their study ill repays the trouble. 
The stage was held by a contemptible troop, none of them 
effective and most of them corrupt, among whom for the first 
twelve months or so there stalked the dominating figure of Marius, 
But even the influence of Marius was all for evil ; for by this time 
he was in his dotage an old man with an idee fixe >, thinking of 
nothing but the pleasures of revenge, Cicero, though he grate- 
fully admits that from 85 to 83 B.C. Rome was so far free from 
fighting that the practice of oratory could be resumed 1 , justly de- 
scribes the times when he says, * inter profectkmem reditumque 
L. Sullae sine iure fuit et sine ulla dignitate res publica * 2 . 

The first move came from Cinna. Whether he had yet proposed 
the recall of Marius or not 3 , he announced his decision to revive 
the programme of Sulpicius for dealing with the freedmen and 
the newly-enfranchised citizens. Immediately violence broke out 
again* The new citizens, of whom there were many in the city, 
crowded to support their champion, and they were soon joined by 
many more who flocked in from the country to lend a hand. The 
old Romans, among whom opposition to the change was stronger 
now that the influence of Marius had been withdrawn, found a, 
natural leader in the other consul, Octavius, The signal for the 
final struggle was given when the inevitable tribunician veto was 
pronounced. There was a fight in the Forum: for a moment the 
cause of the conservatives was in peril, but Octavius himself 
arrived in time, and soon Cinna, making the usual appeal to 
the slaves, was driven headlong from the city. So the first round 
went to Octavius. But, if Cinna's position for the moment was 
weak, his own was little stronger. Neither party had an army, and 
victory in the end would go to him who had the skill to get one* 
This was the fact which made futile the next move of Octavius, 

1 Brutus, 90, 308. 2 ib. 63, 227, 

3 C Florus ii, 9> (in, 2i), 95 de viris UL 69, 2. 


Instead of raising troops, he toyed with the feeble weapons of the 
constitution. The Senate, this time apparently on its own au- 
thority alone, declared Cinna no longer a citizen but an enemy of 
the State. His consulship, therefore, was at an end, and in his 
place was appointed L. Cornelius Merula. The choice was pecu- 
liar. Since Merula was Flamen Dialis and might not, therefore, 
look upon a corpse, the part he played in Roman politics was not 
likely to be large ; and his usefulness was still further curtailed by 
the taboo which forbade him to enter the presence of an army. 
There can be little doubt that this singular selection was a political 
trick: for reasons which we cannot fathom, it was decided that 
Octavius in fact, though not in name, should be consul without 
a colleague. 

Meanwhile Cinna was more profitably employed. Appius 
Claudius Pulcher, praetor of 89 B.C. and father of the famous 
Clodius, had an army in Campania, whither Cinna now made his 
way. He had already been joined by Sertorius, a tried soldier even 
at this early stage, by Marius Gratidianus and by other leading 
opponents of the Senate; and this party, on its journey to the 
south, picked up a motley following from the towns and villages 
through which they passed. When they reached Campania, the 
issue was not long in doubt* Appius Claudius was in no state to 
resist the demands of a man who, with some justice, could claim 
to wield the authority of a consul : indeed, Appius seems only to 
have retained his command thus long by flouting a law which had 
deprived him of imperiling. The army declared for Cinna without 
delay, and the return to Rome began. The progress was triumph- 
ant: one success, as ever, bred more, and the new citizens joined 
the standards in such numbers that Cinna soon had a formidable 
army at his back. More than this, on the news of Sulla's departure 
for the East, Marius had returned to Italy, and when he landed in 
Etruria he was soon able to raise a force of his own by enlisting 
slaves and declaring his devotion to the programme of Sulpicius. 
Thus Rome was threatened from north and South. 

Against this danger the government at length bestirred itself. 
While Octavius and Merula hurriedly prepared defences round 
the city, appeals for help were sent to Pompeius Strabo, who 
still controlled the army in Picenum, and to the peoples of the 
region across the Po who might accept his leadership in gratitude 
for the passing of the Lex Pompeia de Transpadanis (p, 195^^.). 
How far they responded we do not know, but any inclination they 
may have had to move was effectively checked by an expedition 
1 Cicero, de domo $ua> 31, 83. 


which Cinna sent up the Via Flaminia to Ariminum and the North. 
Pompeius himself obeyed the call : he came to Rome, pitched his 
camp outside the Colline Gate, and waited on events. His position 
was sufficiently difficult. The troops with Marius, indeed, were 
comparatively few: 6000 is the number given. But the army with 
Cinna was so large that, as it drew near to Rome, he could split it 
into three separate columns, commanded by himself, Sertorius 
and the enterprising Cn. Car bo. Despite the protests of Sertorius, 
who recognized the danger of such a friend, Cinna made the in- 
evitable compact with Marius, and arrangements were then con- 
certed for a fourfold attack on Rome. 

Such was the gloomy situation when at length Pompeius Strabo, 
evidently not a man to be dismayed by odds, declared for the 
government and prepared to fight. His chief weakness was his 
lack of troops, and this lack the Senate had for some time been 
trying to make good. The Marians, by their promise to revive 
the Lex Sulpicia for the benefit of the newly-enfranchised 
Italians, had secured the support of the masses who had received 
the Roman civitas in 90 and 89 B.C. But there remained a great 
body of people who, by refusing to lay down their arms forthwith, 
had lost their chance of gaining the citizenship outright; and to 
them the Senate turned 1 . They were offered the franchise, ap- 
parently with no condition save that they should fight for the 
government in the coming struggle; but the offer, coming from 
such a quarter, was so obvious a bribe that the recruits it brought 
were only sixteen cohorts. For the rest, Metellus Pius was re- 
called to Rome and came with a section of his army ; but the re- 
mainder of his force was immediately destroyed by the Samnites, 
who were thus set free to join the hosts of Cinna. 

The siege of Rome would be a gloomy theme, even if the evi- 
dence were enough to allow its study: as it is, the authorities are 
so brief that only the outlines of the story can be traced. The 
senatorial forces held the inner lines, and their opponents were in 
four isolated divisions; but the attackers lay so close to the city, 
and the forces of the government were so inadequate, that not 
even a Napoleon could have hoped to destroy the enemy in detail. 
The outstanding incidents were few. Marius struck the most 
deadly blow when he captured Ostia and so gained control of the 
food-supply; but his subsequent advance on Rome, apparently 
by the Via Campana, was abruptly stopped after he had seized 
Janiculum. Somewhere in the region of the Borgo, Octavius 
blocked his way; and in the battle which followed the losses of 

1 Llciniamis, p. 2O sq. F. 


Marius were the heavier. Janiculum, It was said, might even have 
been recovered; but the city garrison had already been weakened 
in a heavy battle with Sertorius, and Pompeius Strabo forbade 
Octavius to follow up his success. Such was the spirit of the de- 
fence, and it was not the spirit to snatch victory from greater num- 
bers. The feeble caution of the commanders soon had its effects 
on the men : desertions grew frequent, and discontent was fostered 
by disease. A first attempt to assassinate Pompeius was frustrated, 
but before long he died 1 ; and thus there perished the one man in 
the city who, for all his evil character, could lay some claim to 
competence in war. 

With Pompeius gone, the defence collapsed. The troops de- 
spised Octavius, and Metellus Pius had too meticulous a care for 
constitutional law to accept the invitation of the army and take 
over the command from a consul. The result of his refusal was 
immediate: the bulk of the legions deserted to the enemy and 
there was nothing left for the government but to open negotia- 
tions, if such they could be called. Cinna, refusing to give any 
promise that he would refrain from massacre, contented himself 
with saying that he would be as merciful as circumstances allowed : 
he insisted that he would enter the city as consul. The luckless 
Merula was, therefore, deposed; and then for the second time 
Rome fell before a Roman army. 


The first public act of Cinna after his return was to rescind the 
decree of outlawry against Marius and his friends. As soon as this 
had been achieved, Marius made his last and most sinister return 
to Rome. There followed a scene never forgotten by those who saw 
it and survived. The old man, consumed by the lust for vengeance, 
let loose his army and his liberated slaves against all his enemies, 
real or supposed. Octavius, the consul, was butchered with some 
ceremony, M. Antonius, the orator, with less* Q, Catulus, colleague 
of Marius in the consulship of 102, and the inoffensive Merula 
were honoured with prosecution in legal form, but neither waited 
for the formality of trial. Catulus suffocated himself with charcoal 
fumes, and Merula, having laid aside his mitre ? bled himself to 

^ 1 Veil. Pat. (ii, 2i, 4) is probably right in his suggestion that Pompeius 
died of disease. This is the meaning of the phrase c sidere adflatus' used by 
Obsequens (56 #), misunderstanding of the original of which has perhaps 
generated the story of Plutarch, Appian, Licinianus and Orosius that he was 
killed by lightning. 


death in the Temple of Juppiter, to be succeeded as Flamen Dialis 
by the young Julius Caesar, now fourteen years of age. Of the 
victims no count was kept. The heads of the senators who fell 
were displayed from the Rostra, but the rest were left where they 
lay, to be devoured as carrion because their friends dared not give 
them burial. Thus the forebodings of Sertorius came true. The 
guilt for this appalling slaughter rests with Marius alone. Ser- 
torius took no part, and even Cinna found it more than he could 
stomach. When terror had reigned five days and nights, he 
surrounded the slaves who were the chief agents of Marius and 
ordered the troops to kill them out of hand. Then at length the 
carnage ceased. 

The new masters now tried to set their house in order. What 
votes and resolutions could do was soon achieved. Marius and 
Cinna were declared consuls for the year 86 B.C., with only the 
most perfunctory pretence of election, if even that: Sulla was pro- 
claimed an outlaw, and his legislation was repealed en bloc. But 
still the fact remained that Sulla himself, though his property was 
confiscated, his house destroyed and his family in the direst 
jeopardy until they escaped to Greece, was at the head of a large 
and devoted army which enabled him to snap his fingers at the 
farce in Rome. Had there been the slightest chance that the 
action of Marius and Cinna would prove effective, had it been 
conceivable that they could deprive the forces in the East of their 
only tried commander before a successor had been found, that 
action would have been the most criminal treason to the safety of 
the State : as things were, the fidelity of Sulla's troops rendered it 
merely fatuous. But powerless as It was to help its authors' cause, 
it was an act of grave significance, most ominous for the future. 
By this senseless decree the greatest figure in the Roman world 
was forced into hostility with the government at home. 

On January 1 3, 86 B.C., Marius died, and the vacant consulship 
was assigned to a certain L. Valerius C. f. L. n. Flaccus not 
to be confused with his cousin L. Valerius L. f, L. n. Flaccus, 
who had been consul in 100, censor in 97 and was soon to 
become Princeps Senatus. Among the tasks which now faced 
the government one at least was urgent. War in Italy had pro- 
duced its invariable economic effect. Land and buildings, the 
best of all investments, had slumped, and owners dared not 
realize to pay their creditors because to do so would make them 
hopelessly insolvent. If the lenders could wait, a moratorium 
was clearly indicated until such time as property had recovered 
its normal value : if not, debts must be scaled down to a 


at which assets would meet liabilities and still leave the debtors 
something on which to live. The difficulties of the problem were 
increased by the financial panic which followed the loss of Asia 
to Mithridates (p. 241) and by the lamentable state of the 
coinage at home. The well-meant experiment of the younger 
Drusus in debasing the denarius (p. 179) had led to a confusion in 
the currency which a deeper familiarity with money would have 
foreseen. Plated coins were worth less than the issues of solid 
silver, but their relative values were wholly a matter of opinion. 
The value of the denarius itself, as a denomination, became so 
doubtful that, according to Cicero, no man had any means of 
telling what he was really worth. 

To meet this financial emergency two measures were devised* 
The chaos in the currency was resolved by a conference of the 
praetors and tribunes, whose decision was somewhat prematurely 
issued as an edict by the praetor Marius Gratidianus, to the great 
benefit of his personal popularity. On the details of his enactment 
our information fails; but Pliny's statement (N.H. xxxm, 132,) 
that it involved some system of assay suggests that debased coins, 
on detection, were either withdrawn from circulation or, as is per- 
haps more probable, kept in use for the time being at something 
less than their nominal value. The more general question of debt, 
with which Sulla and Pompeius Rufus had made some attempt to 
deal in 88 B.C. (p. 2.09), was the subject of a consular law intro- 
duced by Flaccus. It was a drastic measure which, though Sallust 
represents it to have been welcomed by responsible opinion, is 
more truly described by Velleius as disgraceful: creditors lost 
three-quarters of their loans and were compelled to accept a ses- 
tertius in the denarius five shillings in the pound in full dis- 
charge. Possibly it was the best that could be done, if something 
must be done forthwith: in that case, creditors had only themselves 
to thank for the consequences of their own impatience. But a 
comparison with the arrangements to meet a very similar crisis 
made by Caesar in 49 B.C. arrangements which gave lenders a 
choice between immediate payment in part and deferred payment 
in full (p. 655) is enough to show how feeble an effort was that 
of Flaccus to grapple with a problem of undoubted difficulty. 

After the settlement of the economic problem, Flaccus was 
assigned a still harder task. Though he was wholly without military 
distinction and even, so far as our information goes, without ex- 
perience in war, the unfortunate consul was chosen by his friends 
to lead an enterprise of the utmost periL He was to take an army 
to the East and with it to attack either Mithridates or Sulla, which- 


ever seemed the more yielding victim. If a strong force under a com- 
petent general had been organized to attack the Asiatic possessions 
of the king, while Sulla was holding a large part of the royal troops 
in Greece, the plan would have had much to commend it; but it 
is evident that, as things were, any strategic merits which the 
scheme might seem to possess were mere accidents in a piece of 
political intrigue. Flaccus, a man so brutal that his troops were 
constantly on the verge of mutiny, was a mere pygmy in the pre- 
sence of such military giants as his opponents, and his stature was 
not noticeably increased by the device of mounting him on the 
shoulders of a legatus C. Flavius Fimbria. Fimbria, whose only 
claim to notice hither to had been an attempt to murder the Pontifex 
Maximus Scaevola at Marius' funeral, did, indeed, win some 
indisputable successes over the generals of the king, but even he 
could not induce his troops to turn their arms against Sulla. And 
it was against Sulla that the expedition was really aimed : its object 
was to destroy the power which nothing but destruction could pre- 
vent from proving fatal, in its own good time, to the government 
of Cinna in Rome, The proposed attack on Mithridates was, at the 
outset, a mere piece of camouflage, probably designed to hide the 
true nature of the business from the eyes of an army whose allegi- 
ance could not be trusted when Sulla was the foe : and in the upshot 
it was only by chance that the force found itself in Asia at all. 

When at length they had crossed the Adriatic and begun to 
move east towards Macedonia, the commanders determined to 
turn south and seek out Sulla a threat which Sulla advanced to 
meet; but desertions soon warned Flaccus and Fimbria that it 
would be folly to risk an engagement, and it was for this reason, 
and this reason alone, that, though Sulla was almost immediately 
entangled with the second Pontic army of Dorylaus, they 
refused their opportunity and moved on towards Byzantium for 
want of any other occupation. Thus, though it did some service 
to the Roman cause (see above, pp. 2 5 5-f$ f 7*)> this futile expedition 
failed of its real purpose, as it was bound to do. Sulla was at large, 
passing from strength to strength, and Cinna's domination was 
doomed to disappear so soon as Sulla could return to Italy. 

Meanwhile Cinna at home was faced with the problem of the 
new citizens & problem to which he might address himself the 
more enthusiastically because its successful solution could not fail 
to increase his power of recruiting forces for the coming fight. 
Promises to the Italians had been freely made. Cinna had under- 
taken to meet the demands of those who were enfranchised already 
by reviving the measure of Sulpicius to distribute them over the 


whole tribal body; and the Senate, In Its quest for help against 
the Marians, had offered citizenship to those excluded from the 
benefits of the laws of 90 and 89 B.C. In less than two years these 
promises were to be redeemed ; but though L. Marcius Philippus 
and M Perperna, censors in 86, were more active than their pre- 
decessors of three years before, the work of registering the new 
citizens seems for the moment to have made most disappointing 
progress. Circumstances combined to delay their work : some of 
the praetors had been careless in compiling the lists required by 
the Lex Plautia Papiria 1 , and the continued warfare, both In Italy 
and elsewhere, doubtless made it difficult for many of the Italians 
to hand in their applications. Whatever the causes, the returns 
showed only 463,000 names; and unless this figure is to be 
emended, the rise since 115 B.C. was one of less than 70,000. 

But, besides the work of enrolment, there remained the task 
of merging the new citizens in the body politic of Rome; for, 
despite the long-drawn agitation for their repeal, the niggling 
arrangements of the Social War were still In force and the new- 
comers found themselves herded into a small minority of the tribes. 
Justice was done at length, though perhaps not till 84. It was in 
that year, according to the Epitome of Livy, that the citizens from 
Italy gained the ius $uffragii\ presumably they were spread 
throughout the tribes and their votes were thus made effective. 
Into the motives for the final concession, which was made by 
senatus consultum^ there is no need to inquire. It belongs to 
a time after the Peace of Dardanus had brought Sulla's return 
very near, and, like other contemporary measures, it may have 
been primarily designed to win recruits : but, whatever the con- 
siderations which prompted it, the resolution of the Senate put 
the last touch to the triumph of the liberal cause. Though war 
still lingered in the remoter parts;, only time was needed for 
the recalcitrants to gain the benefits which their more submissive 
neighbours were already able to enjoy. The principle of the 
settlement was irrevocably fixed. All the free inhabitants of Italy 
were to be equal members of a single State. The unification was 

Meanwhile politics had been running a more tranquil course. 
The departure of Flaccus and Fimbria In 8 6 marked the beginning 
of a respite from the worst forms of strife, and for three years 
Rome resumed something of its normal aspect. It is true that 
Cinna had chosen as his colleague in the consulship of 85 B.C. the 
bitter and headstrong Cn. Carbo, who has already appeared as 

5, 9 


commander of an army during the Marian siege of Rome ; but, in 
spite of the character of his associates, Cinna himself seems to have 
behaved with a degree of moderation which enabled him to retain 
in the city at least some of the more prominent men who did not 
belong to his own party. His behaviour was not, indeed, above 
reproach. The means by which he got Carbo and himself made 
consuls for 85 B.C., and the formality whereby their office was con- 
tinued for the following year, were, to say the least, so high-handed 
that men could deny that an election had been held at all. But in 
their main occupation the preparation for the fight with Sulla 
Cinna and Carbo could proceed without provoking open resist- 
ance: after its experience of armies in action, Rome was in no 
mood to boggle at mere recruitment, however sinister a future it 
might portend. Legions were raised, a fleet was collected, supplies 
were organized and money was provided to finance the war, when 
suddenly, towards the end of 8 5 B.C., there came an ominous 
pronouncement from the East, In a formal communication to the 
Senate Sulla rehearsed his services since the time of the Jugur- 
thine War, complained of the treatment to which he and his friends 
had been subjected since 88 B.C., put it beyond doubt that he 
would respect all concessions to the new citizens, by whomsoever 
made, and finally stated his intention in the plainest terms of 
taking vengeance on the leaders of the movement designed to 
work his ruin. To this forthright letter the Senate was allowed to 
reply : Cinna seems to have lost his nerve* The Fathers offered to 
arrange an accommodation between the opposing sides, and 
ordered Cinna to stop his warlike preparations until Sulla's answer 
arrived : but the senatorial offer contained a sti&g by proposing 
to guarantee his safety it assumed that> before long, Sulla would 
be a private citizen, 


In this alarming situation Cinna and Carbo did not belie their 
reputations. Professing obedience to the Senate's commands, they, 
secured the continuation of their consulships to the end of 84 B.C. 
and pressed on energetically with plans for self-defence. The 
scheme was one which did credit to its authors: Sulla was to be 
fought in Greece, and Italy would thus be spared a renewal of the 
civil war at home. The forces, accordingly, were concentrated on 
the eastern coast, and the vanguard had already crossed , tjie 
Adriatic before winter closed the seas. But in the spring of 84<, 
when the second contingent had set sail, a fracas broke out # 


the troops still quartered in Ancona, and Cinna was suddenly 
murdered. Carbo was now the only consul, and he showed no de- 
sire for a colleague. Fearing for his safety in the city, he refused 
to visit Rome for the formalities of choosing a man in China's 
place, until finally the tribunician college threatened to proceed 
with the abrogation of his own imperium if he stayed away. Then 
at length he came; but, after the proceedings had twice been 
thwarted by the auspices, his opponents bowed to the will of 
heaven and Carbo was left sole consul for the rest of 84 B.C. 

With his position for the time being assured, Carbo was free 
to develop his own strategic plan a plan sadly different from 
that of Cinna, Italy took the unenviable place of Greece as 
the destined scene of operations. The troops sent to Epirus had 
already been recalled, and Carbo now looked for means of 
strengthening his hold on the Italian peoples. His proposal to 
take hostages for their loyalty was resisted by the Senate with 
success, but a wiser way of winning their good will found sena- 
torial support. It is to this period that we should assign the action 
of the Senate whereby citizenship was conferred on all to whom 
it had been promised and the new citizens were distributed over 
all the tribes. 

About now there arrived from Sulla his reply to the Senate's 
offer of mediation. It said that, so far as he himself was concerned, 
he could never be reconciled with his enemies, though he would 
not resent it if the State should decide to spare their lives. Then 
came the clause which revealed the fate of Rome. Ignoring the 
offer to guarantee his safety, Sulla promised that he would protect 
the Senate and all those who had been driven for refuge to his 
camp a promise which he was in a position to fulfil because he 
could depend on the loyalty of his troops. Thereby Italy was 
informed that the army would not be disbanded and that 
only defeat in battle could stop Sulla from becoming military 

In the year 83 the direction of affairs changed hands, and the 
outlook grew black : for superstitious minds it was evidence enough 
of the wrath to come that on 6 July the Temple of Juppiter Op- 
timus Maximus was destroyed by fire, statue and all. Carbo, 
though he remained in Italy, had secured a powerful position for 
himself, and one which might be useful in defeat, by taking com- 
mand of Cisalpine Gaul. Resistance farther south was left to the 
new consuls -L. Scipio Asiaticus and C. Norbanus, the prosecutor 
of Caepio in the case of the <aurum Tolosae * (p. 159 j^.) Both 
of them belonged to the Marian party; but, though Scipio seems 


to have been a man of moderation and Norbanus was not without 
experience of war, neither was of the calibre required in leaders 
who were to face so formidable a threat as that of Sulla's return. 
They made such preparations as they could: it was perhaps in 
order to provide a base for their armies in Campania that M. Junius 
Brutus, father of the tyrannicide and tribune in this year, proposed 
that Capua should be made a colony if, indeed, the measure 
which Cicero 1 ascribes to Brutus really belongs to his tribunate. 
But the consuls were acting on the defensive : their task was to 
wait on the moves of the invader, and it is Sulla who now begins 
to dominate the scene. 

When Sulla left Greece in the spring of 83 with an army esti- 
mated at 40,000 men, something significant for the future had 
already been achieved. Either at their leader's instigation or of 
their own free will> the troops had sworn an oath that they would 
stay with the colours after their arrival in Italy and maintain a dis- 
cipline which should save the countryside from all unauthorized 
destruction. Thus Sulla seemed to confirm the expression given 
by his first message to the Senate : he was a Roman who cared for 
Italy, and the object of his coming was only to chastise his 
enemies. Then, with the assurance that his army would not scatter 
to its homes as soon as it found itself in Italy again, he crossed the 
Adriatic and landed at Brundisium. 

It now became his most urgent business to declare his attitude 
towards the new citizens of Rome, The disreputable government 
of the Marians commanded no respect, and so futile a set of 
schemers was not likely to redeem its position by the concessions 
it had made to the demands for an equitable application of the 
principles wrung by force out of Rome during the Social 
War. Sulla was the only man who could give strength to his* 
opponents : if he had revealed a determination to go back on the 
work done in his absence to satisfy the just claims of the Italians^ 
those Italians would inevitably have rallied round Carbo and his 
friends. But Sulla was a statesman, and a shrewd judge of his own 
interests as well. So far from seeking to upset the settlement, he 
accepted it entire and took steps to let his acceptance be known to 
those whom it most closely concerned. Early in his northward 
advance, he had a conference with the consul Scipio between 
Cales and Teanum Sidicinum about some of the most momentous 
issues of the day the position of the Senate, the constitution of 
the State and, above all, the ius suffragii*. If agreement on the 
last of these questions existed, the fact was probably not published 

1 de hge agr. n, 33, 89. 2 Cicero, PhiL xu, ir, 27 


abroad: the Marians could still make capital out of the new 
citizens' anxiety about Sulla's attitude to their position in the 
Roman State. But at the beginning of 82 their doubts were ended 
when Sulla made what is called a treaty with some section of 
these people, binding himself, in return for services unspecified, 
to maintain their rights intact 1 . This pledge deserves notice. It 
is one which Sulla never sought to break, and though it is some- 
times overlooked in its martial setting, it marks the end of a chap- 
ter. With it the problem of the allies ceased to be a living issue. 


After landing unchallenged at Brundisium, Sulla had marched 
along the Via Appia towards Campania as through a friendly 
country 2 . His army was small, but seasoned and trustworthy : five 
legions, 6000 cavalry and some troops from the Peloponnese and 
Macedonia. Powerful supporters soon joined him, such as Q. 
Caecilius Metellus Pius from Liguria who resumed the pro- 
consular command conferred on him in 87, M. Licinius Crassus 
from Africa, and L. Philippus, who was sent to occupy Sardinia. 
And M. Lucullus struck a hard blow for him at Fidentia on the 
Via Aemilia in Cisalpine Gaul 3 . No less important was the action 
of the youthful Pompey, who foiled the attempts of the govern- 
jpaent to secure Picenum. Setting up the standard of the Sullan 
party at Auximum he raised three legions, brushed aside the 
forces sent against him, and reported at Sulla's camp, where he 
was hailed im-perator. 

Sulla reached Campania before he met with opposition. The 
consul C Norbanus who was prepared to contest the crossing of 
the Volturnus at Casilinum arrested envoys sent by Sulla to discuss 
peace terms. Somewhere, in all probability between Mount Tifata 
and Casilinum 4 , a battle was fought and Norbanus was routed; of 
the survivors some fled to the new colony at Capua, others to 
Neapolis. Leaving these cities to be invested Sulla marched up 
the Via Latina to Teanum where he met a second consular army 
under L, Scipio. To him also he first made proposals for peace,, an 

1 Livy, Efit. 86. 2 See above, Maps 4 and 6. 

3 See C, Lanzani in Rend, Line. Ser. vi, vol. n, 1926, p. 7 on Plutarch, 
Sulla,, 27. 

4 Appian, Edl Civ, i, 84, 382, says that a battle was fought at Canusmm. 
This is a mistake for some name in Campania, possibly Casilinum, The site 
is indicated by Velleius (n, 25, 4) and Floras (u, 9 [in, 21], 19). 


armistice was concluded and such progress was made towards an 
understanding that Scipio sent Q. Sertorius to Capua to sound 
Norbanus. But Sertorius, with an eye to strategy and a distrust of 
the invader, secured a line of retreat to the Via Appia by seizing 
Suessa Aurunca which had joined Sulla, When Sulla complained 
of this, Scipio declared the armistice at an end. But in the mean- 
time the persuasive manner of the veterans from overseas had 
undermined the loyalty of Scipio 's recruits, so that the consul's 
troops passed over in a body. Well might Carbo fear the fox 
rather than the lion in the heart of Sulla. Scipio himself was set 
free, but soon began to enrol a fresh army. During the winter 
Norbanus was kept blockaded in Capua and would have none of 
his opponent's renewed attempt to make terms. Sertorius left to 
raise another army in Etruria. 

The campaign of 82 was begun on both sides with increased 
resources and profound animosity. Sulla had secured Apulia, 
Campania and Picenum and was hoping to extend his power by 
guaranteeing to the Italian communities that citizenship which 
had been -won from his opponents (p. 270). His glove was off and 
he made no secret of his intention to seize Rome. The revolu- 
tionary government also acted with vigour. Two extremists held 
the consulship, Cn. Papirius Carbo for the third time and C. 
Marius the younger. Large forces were raised m Etruria and 
Cisalpine Gaul. Under the lax regime of Cinna the Samnites and 
Lucanians had been enjoying independence, and in dread of a 
Sullan victory launched their last attack against the lair of the 
Roman wolf. Heavy fighting took place in three theatres of war, 
in Cisalpine Gaul, in Etruria and Umbria, and in Latium. The 
progress made by the Sullan armies in Cisalpine Gaul aided the 
collapse of the Marian cause in Etruria and Umbria; and these 
successes helped Sulla to maintain the blockade of Praeneste 
against the fury which later spent itself at the Colline Gate. 

Early in the year, after a bitter winter, Sulla set out to seize 
Rome. Marching from Campania up the Via Latina he en- 
countered Marius in the upper valley of the Trerus between 
Signia and Praeneste arid engaged him at Sacriportus 1 , possibly 
near the junction of the Via Latina and the Via Labicana. The 
Marian troops after heavy losses broke ; many surrendered on the 
spot ; the survivors fled to the fortresses of Norba and Praeneste. 
So vigorously did Sulla follow up his victory that thousands of 

1 The meaning and location cannot be determined. The Torre Piombinara 
or Pimpinara near Segni railway station is supposed (without good reason) to 
mark the site. See Pap. Brit. School at Rome> i, p. 280 and v, p. 422, 


fugitives were massacred before the walls of Praeneste, and Marius 
himself barely escaped into the city. Leaving Q. Lucretius Ofella 
to reduce Praeneste by blockade, Sulla secured all the approaches 
to Rome and entered the city unopposed. Meantime Marius had 
imitated the ferocity of his father. Realizing that Rome was lost, 
he ordered the -praetor urbanus L. Junius Brutus Damasippus be- 
fore evacuating the city to put to death the most notable men of 
the other party. Among the victims of this atrocity were L. Do- 
mitius, consul in 94, and Q. Mucius Scaevola, Pontifex Maximus. 
After making some temporary arrangements to secure the city, 
Sulla marched into Etruria to oppose Carbo. 

In northern Italy the insurrection in Picenum supported Me- 
tellus and Pompey in an offensive against Carbo and his generals 
Carrinas and Censorinus, whose base was Ariminum. Metellus 
defeated Carrinas at the Aesis, the northern boundary of Picenum. 
Carbo came up and checked him temporarily, but on hearing of 
the defeat of Marius at Sacriportus fell back upon Ariminum. 
During his retreat he sustained severe loss at the hands of Metellus 
and Pompey; not only did five cohorts desert to the former, but 
the latter cut up his cavalry and captured Sena Gallica. Thus the 
old ager Gallicus fell to Metellus, Carbo then left for Etruria to 
oppose Sulla, and Norbanus from Capua took over the command 
in the Po valley. 

In Etruria and Umbria the Marians fought stubbornly but 
with scant success. Sulla invaded Etruria in person and soon 
established communications with Pompey and Crassus who had 
penetrated into Umbria from Picenum* The left division of his 
army was victorious at Saturnia; the right division encountered 
Carbo in the valley of the Clanis and crushed the feeble resistance 
of his Spanish cavalry. There followed a long and desperate en- 
gagement near Clusium which though indecisive temporarily 
checked Sulla's advance. Near Spoletium Carrinas was heavily 
defeated by Pompey and Crassus and blockaded in the town. He 
himself escaped under cover of storm and darkness, but a relieving 
army sent by Carbo was ambushed on the march by Sulla with the 
loss of 2000 men. 

Meanwhile a decision was quickly reached in the valley of the 
Pb/M. Lucullus was besieged at Placentia but in a sortie crushed 
his opponents. When Norbanus threw his troops, fatigued by 
a day's march, against Metellus at Faventia he was utterly routed; 
only i coo surviyprs from a large army returned to Etruria. 
Finally, a Lucanian legion deserted and its commander Albino- 
vanus treacherously murdered all the Marian commanders, save 


Norbanus, before joining Sulla, The loss of Arimlnum completed 
the collapse of the Marian cause ; Metellus was supreme between 
the Apennines and the Alps ; Norbanus fled to Rhodes and com- 
mitted suicide. In Etruria, however, the Marians still had large 
forces in the field under Carbo. But the news of the loss of Cisal- 
pine Gaul and the failure of the attempts, presently to be described, 
to relieve Praeneste broke the nerve of Carbo who fled from his 
camp and embarked for Africa. Part of his abandoned troops were 
destroyed by Pompey, the remainder dispersed. Isolated towns, 
like Volaterrae, still resisted but the bulk of the Sullan forces in 
Etruria were set free for service nearer Rome. 

We have seen that Q. Lucretius Ofella had been left by Sulla 
to reduce Praeneste. The strength and the strategic importance of 
this fortress explain the desperate struggles which are the story of 
the siege. Since Sulla contrived to defeat the repeated attempts of 
the Marians to raise the siege it is in the opinion of the present 
writer very probable that his- impregnable blockading lines ex- 
tended over the whole of the broad pass between the spur of the 
Apennines upon which Praeneste stood and the north-eastern 
extremity of the Alban Hills 1 . Appian 2 indeed says that trenches 
were dug and blockading walls erected at some distance from the 
city itself. As relief by way of the mountains behind the citadel 
was out of the question, it was sufficient for Sulla to block the 
approaches on the remaining sides. Four unsuccessful attempts 
at relief were made. First, Censor inus with eight legions was sent 
by Carbo, but he was defeated by Pompey in Umbria and his army 
melted away. A more determined venture was made from another 
quarter. Seventy thousand troops, mostly Samnites under Lam- 
ponius, Pontius of Telesia and Gutta of Capua advanced from the 
south-east but could not break through the position. Then Marras 
tried to co-operate by making a sally and erecting a 1 large fort be- 
tween the city and Ofella's lines. But he could not gain his end, 
Next, Carbo dispatched two more legions from Etruria under 
Damasippus. 'But not even those could pass the narrow place 
(rot crreva), guarded as it was by Sulla a .* Upon Carbons flight to 
Africa Carrinas, Censor inus and Damasippus joining forces with 
Lamponius, Pontius and Gutta made a last desperate attempt to 
break through, Repulsed, they flung themselves against Rome, 
Leaving Ofella to hold his lines, Sulla marched post haste to save 
the city and during the afternoon of i November 82 B.C. launched 
his wearied troops against the enemy outside the Colline Gate. 

1 Journal of Philology > xxxv a 1919, pp. I 1 8. 

2 Bell, Civ. I, 88, 402. * I*. I, 92, 423. 


For long the issue was in doubt. The left wing which Sulla com- 
manded in person was driven back upon the city wall; the gates 
were closed; and fugitives bore to Ofella the news that Sulla had 
fallen and Rome was lost. But on the right wing Crassus pre- 
vailed and pursued the enemy as far as Antemnae, thus enabling 
Sulk to recover. The surrender of a division of the enemy, who 
immediately turned against their comrades, put an end to the 
struggle. Perhaps the most ghastly scene of all was reserved for 
the third day after the battle when a meeting of the Senate in the 
Temple of Bellona was disturbed by the massacre in the Villa 
Publica of the Samnite captives, three or four thousand in number, 
including Carrinas, Damasippus and Pontius. 

The Battle of the Colline Gate sealed the fate of Praeneste also. 
When the tokens of Sulla's victory, the heads of Carrinas and 
other leaders, were thrown into the city, the garrison surrendered 
to Ofella. Marius, when endeavouring to escape through one of 
the drain passages beneath the city, was captured and killed him- 
self; most of the survivors were herded together and executed; 
the city was given over to pillage. In the main the war was 
over. Resistance was still offered in Samnium and Etruria, but 
elsewhere Italy awaited the pleasure of her conqueror. 

Fifty-one years had passed since the sword began to play a de- 
cisive part in Roman politics, and it was by the sword at the outset 
that the victor of the Colline Gate sought to make his victory 
doubly certain. Thrice in seven years Rome had been the scene of 
political murder: the violent end of Sulpicius had been avenged 
by the massacres of the elder Marius, and in his turn Marius the 
younger had not shrunk from the slaughter of his opponents in 
and around the Senate House. But in the proscriptions of Sulla 
Italy endured the consummation of her sufferings. The execution 
of the captured Marian leaders and the butchery of the Samnite 
prisoners were followed by continual murders in the city, clearly 
with the approval of Sulla. It seemed that submission was not 
enough. At length one of his own partisans questioned him in the 
Senate as to his intentions. His response was the issue of a series 
of proscription lists, by which he outlawed all who had in any 
public or private capacity aided the cause of his opponents. It 
goes without saying that, apart from those senators who had sym- 
pathized with Marius and Cinna, the equestrian order, which had 
persistently opposed the nobles, was visited with Sulla's special 
hatred. Rewards were offered to those who murdered or betrayed 
any of these outlaws, and those who befriended or concealed them 
were liable to the severest penalties* The property of the victims 


was forfeited, and their sons and grandsons were excluded forever 
from office and from the Senate. 

From the slaves of the proscribed Sulla selected and manumitted 
more than ten thousand of the youngest and strongest. Known as 
Cornelii 1 - these men were potentially a standing army for employ- 
ment in the capital and as instrument** imperil corresponded to the 
garrisons of veterans who served his interests in Italy. 

Although it was said that 4700 names were recorded in the 
lists, we can have no accurate knowledge of the total number of 
the victims. The innocent perished with the guilty, as the worst 
elements in the population seized the opportunity of enrichment, 
of gratifying personal grudges, and of securing indemnity for past 
and license for contemplated crimes. However little Sulla may 
have been moved by personal rancour against the mass of his 
victims, the house of Marius was indeed visited with fearful 
vengeance* The ashes of the victor of Aquae Sextiae were dis- 
interred and scattered in the Anio, the monuments of his triumphs 
over Africans and Germans were overthrown, his adopted nephew, 
M. Marius Gratidianus, a popular figure who had twice been 
praetor, was dissected piecemeal as an offering to the shade of 
Catulus. These atrocities were not confined to Rome; they must 
have been repeated in country towns wherever the opportunity of 
legalized murder or confiscation presented itself. Side by side 
with these proscriptions went the punishment of whole com- 
munities who resisted even after the Colline Gate. Fire and sword 
were at work in Etruria ; Samnium was laid waste, Aesernia being 
left in ruins. This reign of terror was never forgotten by the 
Romans. Whenever it seemed possible that some commander with 
a victorious army at his back might seize the government, there 
arose the fear that the horrors which had followed the Colline 
Gate might be repeated. Few of the letters of Cicero written 
early in 49 B.C, fail to testify how deeply the terror of the Sullanum 
regnum had bitten into the imagination of his fellow-citizens. 


In Italy Sulla was now undisputed master, free to proceed at 
once with his work of political reform ; but in various outlying 
regions armies in the Marian interest were still at large, any one 
of which might form the centre of dangerous insurrection. Sar- 
dinia, which had been held by Q. Antonius Balbus, was occupied 
in 82 B.C. by the wily L. Marcius Philippus, whose allegiance 

1 Appian, EelL Giv* i, 100, 469. See also G.LL. i 2 , 722. 


to the Sullan cause was now above suspicion : Spain, whither 
C. Annius Luscus had been sent to suppress Sertorius, was about to 
become the scene of a protracted struggle which is described else- 
where (see pp. 318 $qq?) : and, finally, Sicily and Africa had given 
harbour to large numbers of fugitives from the vengeance which in 
Italy was now inevitable. The recovery of these two provinces, the 
western granaries of Rome, was a matter of special urgency, and 
for this purpose Sulla selected the young Pompey, whose services 
since Sulla's return had won complete forgiveness for his earlier 
aberration in the camp of Cinna 1 . 

Late in 82 B.C. or early in the following year Pompey, with the 
Senate's support 2 , was given praetorian imperium* and instructions 
to expel the enemy from Sicily. The island was in the hands of a 
violent Marian M. Perperna, son of the consul of 92 B.C.; and 
to his army was added a fleet brought up from the Marian base in 
Africa by Carbo, who had betaken himself thither after the defeat 
of Clusium and the failure of his efforts to relieve Praeneste, But 
Sicily proved an easy prize. Perperna himself rapidly disappeared, 
to be heard of next in the train of M. Aemilius Lepidus after the 
death of Sulla: M. Brutus, a praetor of 8 8 B.C. who was now acting 
under the command of Carbo, was surrounded on an expedition 
of reconnaissance by the ships of Pompey and forthwith fell upon 
his sword: and Carbo himself, caught in the island of Cossura 
(Pantellaria), was put to death after long formalities by the general 
who now began to earn from his enemies names like c adulescentulus 
carnifex' 4 . Nevertheless, if the somewhat biassed testimony of 
Cicero may be believed 5 , in his dealings with the Sicilian cities 
Pompey showed notable moderation, and by the autumn of 8 I B.C. 
order had been so far restored that he could cross to Africa for the 
second and more arduous phase of the undertaking. 

The history of affairs in Africa during the eastern campaigns of 
Sulla Is wrapt in obscurity. It appears 6 that Metellua Pius had 
taken refuge there for a time, but that he was supplanted in the 
control of the country by a certain C. Fabius Hadrianus, of the 
Marian persuasion) whose behaviour to the Roman citizens in the 
province was so oppressive that he was finally burnt alive at Utica 

1 For the interpretation of Plutarch, Pomp ems 56, 2 and Dio, frag. 1 07, 1 , 
see E, Wiehrij Die illegalen tleereskommanden etc.* p, 67 sq. y and the works 
there mentioned* 2 Livy, Epit* 89. 

3 Licinianus, p f 31 F, On the rare aureus with the legend MAGNVS (obv.) 
PRO cos (rev.) see B.M.C, Rep. n, p. 464, n. i, and Volume of Plates iv, 
2, g. * Val. Max. n, 2, 8. 

5 de imp. Cn. Pompei^ 21, 61* 6 Livy, JSpit. 84* 


in his own -praetorium^ . Fabius was followed by Cn. Domitius 
Ahenobarbus a son-in-law of Cinna 2 who collected a con- 
siderable force in the peninsula to the east of the Gulf of 
Carthage and drew a certain amount of support from the Nu~ 
midian region 3 . He is said to have found an ally in one Iarbas 5 who 
had ejected Hiempsal ? son of Gauda, from his kingdom to the west 
of the Roman province, and it is possible that the party was joined 
by another potentate, named Masinissa 4 ^ whose principality lay 
beyond that of larbas in the direction of Mauretania. Thus the 
recovery of Africa promised to demand military operations on an 
extensive scale, and Pompey accordingly set sail with 120 war- 
ships and 800 transports carrying six legions. The army was landed 
in two divisions at Utica and Carthage^ and immediately it was 
swelled by the desertion of 7000 men from the enemy. Against 
this formidable attack Domitius could still muster a force of 
20,000. But he was outnumbered; and> when the inevitable battle 
came, he was crushingly defeated and killed. After the victory 
Pompey did not take long to establish the authority of his govern- 
ment throughout the province, and thence he passed westward to 
Numidia. At this point help appeared from Mauretania > whence 
Bogud, son of the king Bocchus, led an expedition which caused 
larbas to take refuge in Bulla Regia. Bulla soon fell to Pompey, 
who put larbas to death and restored Hiempsal to the Numidian 
throne. There followed a general settlement of Numidian affairs, 
at the end of which Pompey returned to Utica having won back 
Africa for Sulla after a campaign marked by that rapidity for 
which later he became famous. According to Plutarch the whole 
business was over in forty days. 

At Utica Pompey received orders from home which ill re- 
quited his Achievements. He was to disband all his legions but. 
one and to wait till his successor in the command of the. province 
should arrive, which meant that he was to be denied the honour 
of a triumph. The result of this was such burnings of heart among 
the troops that Pompey was in some danger of being forced into 
open revolt; but in the end he took the less enterprising course 
and so spared both Italy and Sulla what would have been a struggle 
of some severity. Nevertheless, in spite of the dictator's reluctance 
and though he himself had held no magistracy, his own insistence 
and the pressure of his supporters finally, after long intrigues, won 

1 Cicero, n In Ferr. i, 27, 70: c Pseudo-Asconius ap. Stangl, n, p. 241. 

2 Orosius v, 24, 1 6. 3 See above, Map 5. 

4 de <uiris III, 77, 2, on which see S. Gsell, Hhtotre ancienne de PAfrique 
du Nord* vn, p 282. 

2 8o SULLA [CHAP. 

the concession of a triumph, and with its celebration on 1 2 March 
in a year which was probably 79 B.C. (though 80 B.C. is possible) 
the African episode was at an end. 

With the Battle of the Colline Gate and the final establishment 
of Sulla's supremacy, sanity returns to Rome and her history be- 
comes once more a subject fit for study. The convulsions of the 
last ten years had brought a new Rome into being, and its birth 
created problems whose solution would call for courageous reform. 
Daring and ability were necessary qualities in the man who would 
re-organize the State, and besides these he must have the means 
to translate his programme into action. The melancholy example 
of the Gracchi gave warning that statesmanship was futile if it 
relied on votes alone: nothing but armed force could uphold the 
man who undertook a task of such magnitude as that which now 
confronted Rome. There could be no doubt that Sulla was the one 
man living whose authority enabled him to face the work with 
confidence. By the fourth of his five marriages to Caecilia, 
daughter of Metellus Delmaticus and widow of M, Aemilius 
Scaurus he was connected with the most powerful elements 
in the State : of his ability it will be time to speak when his achieve- 
ment has been surveyed. 

His character, however, deserves some passing notice. Good 
looking and with a merry wit, in the days of his humble youth 
Sulla had drunk deep of the more sensuous pleasures. At dinner 
he was the best of company, and the vivacity of his surroundings 
was never marred by any squeamishness in his choice of friends. 
To the end he lived hard. When the golden hair had lost its sheen 
and gouty patches blotched the pale complexion, in his leisure hours 
he still remained faithful to the companions of other days. Sulla was 
a voluptuary at heart, with a cynic's contempt for the importance of 
human affairs. Nevertheless, they mattered enough to bring him 
into public life ; and in public life the bon viveur became an al- 
together different being. There he was all efficiency. Whatever 
may be thought of the ends for which he chose to work, there can 
be only one opinion about his handling of the means. With a ruth- 
less determination which made his name a byword for brutality he 
went on his way, crushing the opposition of friend and foe alike. 
The Marians were assured that, if any of them had been omitted 
from the lists of the proscribed, the omission was an oversight soon 
to be repaired; and, if any of his own party thought to trespass 
on the dictator's obligations for service in the past, the fate of 

VI, vi] SULLA FELIX 281 

Ofella served to remind them that his will was only to be thwarted 
at their peril (p. 285). Like a man whose supreme conviction is 
that death comes soon or late to all, he never allowed the lives of 
a few hundred of his opponents to stand in the way of his con- 
sidered policy. Yet, for all the forbidding savagery of his methods, 
he inspired unyielding loyalty in vast numbers of supporters, 
Indeed, his epitaph, which he is said to have composed himself, 
adequately expressed his outlook when it proclaimed to posterity 
that men had never known a truer friend or a more remorseless 
enemy 1 . 

In ancient times, largely because Cicero disapproved of his 
ideals, Sulla's public policy was often misrepresented, and in 
modern days it has been frequently misunderstood. It is difficult 
to conceive an account farther from the truth than that which 
describes him as a narrow-minded soldier who, finding himself 
supreme, used his supremacy to impose on Rome a kind of govern- 
ment which happened to accord with his private predilections. 
Sulla was far more than a capricious despot: he was the child of 
his age, whose task was dictated to him by his predecessors and 
whose solution of it was moulded as much by circumstances as by 
his own voKtion. There were many problems which he essayed to 
tackle, but those of outstanding difficulty were two. Of these two 
one had its origin in the Social War, the other in the army reform 
of Marius, 

The enfranchisement of Italy had produced a situation to which 
the Roman constitution could only be adjusted by thorough-going 
change. Even in the third and second centuries the constitutional 
development had so far lagged behind the expansion of the State 
that no stretch of the imagination could find in Rome that effective 
sovranty of the assembled citizens which the theory itself as- 
sumed. The citizen-body was spread over an area so wide that the 
voters able to be present in Rome could not claim to be more than 
a fraction of the whole. So the theory was tacitly abandoned, and 
down to the tribunate of Tiberius Gracchus such functions as the 
assemblies discharged had generally been controlled by the in- 
fluence of a Senate whose prestige was overwhelming. But the 
Gracchi had wrought a change : their attempt to revive the latent 
independence of the Concilium Plebis, and their threat to the 
Senate's use of the tribunate as a weapon against demagogic 
legislation, raised afresh the question of the claim that the voters 
in Rome should be regarded as adequately representing the citizen- 
body as a whole 2 . Then followed the Social War, with results which 
1 Plutarch, Sulla, 38, 4. 2 See pp. 8 sq, and 91. 


changed the face of Italy. Henceforward, since the civitas was to 
cover the length and breadth of the peninsula south of the Rubicon- 
Macra line,, this handful of voters who lived at Rome and were 
largely drawn from the lowest stratum of society proposed to man- 
age the affairs of all Italy. The proposal was clearly preposterous : 
the fate of the country could not be entrusted to the contents of 
the c sentina urbis.' Constitutional reform was needed to create a 
government which would do justice to the interests of all classes 
of the population a government, therefore, which would be 
immune from the dictation of the urban mob. Such was the first 
and greatest task which Sulla was called upon to undertake. 

The second, which arose from, the military reforms of Marius, 
has already been reviewed (p. 1 36 jy.). The need for pensions in the 
form of land bound the legionaries to their commanders : it was 
the commanders who would have to initiate the necessary legisla- 
tion, and even so its passage might call for the active support of 
the soldiers themselves. Thus it happened in the end that armies 
became devoted to their generals, and the ties which united them 
grew ever stronger until the general deprived the government at 
home of the first claim on the legionaries' loyalty. The result was 
a danger with which none can have been more familiar than Sulla 
himself 'that the State would remain permanently at the mercy of 
rival commanders. Struggles like those between Octavius and 
Cinna and between China and himself would become chronic, 
unless some means could be devised of effectively subordinating 
the armies to a central control. If the Republic was to survive, 
Sulla must be the last Roman to capture Rome* To ensure this 
was his second task. It was a task in which he failed, and in which 
failure meant the collapse of his most ambitious schemes ; but the 
fact that he addressed himself to its achievement is essential to 
an understanding of his place in history. 


When order was at length restored, > Sulla's most urgent need 
was to secure a legal basis for his own position. It is possible that 
the Senate had already done something to validate his acts the 
Peace of Dardanus is perhaps an instance and had granted him 
indemnity for his less regular proceedings ; we may conjecture, for 
example, that he was allowed to retain his imperium though he had 
entered the city. But all this looked towards the past: fot the 
future Sulla must seek something more than the Senate was able 
to bestow. Of the two consuls, Carbo had been killed in Sicily 
and the younger Marius at Praeneste. Thus the auspices had 


'returned to the Fathers/ and Sulla suggested that they should 
take the usual step of appointing an interrex* Their choice fell upon 
L. Valerius Flaccus 3 the Princeps Senatus 3 and public opinion seems 
to have expected that he would proceed to the nomination of suf- 
fect consuls. But Sulla, who for the moment had retired from 
Rome 5 thought otherwise, and took care to let his thoughts be 
known. What was needed was a dictator, appointed without limit 
of time, who would retain command until the ship of State had at 
length been brought to port. Inevitably the submissive interred 
agreed. There was, indeed, no precedent for a dictatorship of in- 
definite duration, and there was none for the naming of a dictator 
by any but a consul : but Flaccus did all that could be done to give 
the new despot some semblance of legality. Though it had never 
been known for an interred to propose a law, he went to the 
Comitia and introduced a bill to make Sulla c dictator legibus 
scribundis et rei publicae constituendae >:l and leave him to enjoy 
this office until his task was finished and it was his pleasure to re- 
sign. Cicero grudgingly admits that Flaccus was not a free agent 
on this occasion, but the Lex Valeria itself fills him with a fury of 
indignation, though whether sincere or feigned is far from clear. 
The law does, indeed, deserve notice, not because of Cicero's 
objections but because it marks a slight development in the prac- 
tice of the constitution and sets a precedent for Julius Caesar and 
the members of the 'Second Triumvirate/ Undoubtedly there 
were features in the episode which found no parallel in the past. 
The dictators of the early Republic had been chosen for the general 
purpose of carrying on affairs (rei gerendae caussa), and in those 
later cases during the fourth and third centuries, when they had 
been appointed to discharge some special dutyy the ;diity was 
generally of a very minor kind: Sulla,, on < the other* lia&d^ .Had 
specific functions of a sweeping sort, which involved nothing less 
than the drafting of a new constitution 2 . This, however, was a 
point of small significance : the one important novelty in Sulla's 
case was the absence of any limit to the period for which he might 
retain his office. It was a novelty which, by itself, was enough to 
raise the fears of a nobility whose mastering desire was for the 
earliest possible restoration of oligarchical control : but their fears 

1 For this phraseology compare Appian, Bell. Gi*u i 3 99, 462, and Res 
Gestae Dzv. jfug. I. Applan's accuracy here has been doubted by 
D. McFayden in Papers in Memory ofj. M. Wulfing, p. 65. 

2 The use of 'constituere* in the sense of *to organize,, provide with 
a constitution/ is to be seen in Cicero, ad fern, xni, 1 1, 3; cf. Bruns, Fontef, 

II, 1. 22. 

2,84 SULLA [CHAP. 

were not stirred by this alone. The part played by the People in 
Sulla's elevation was no less sinister. He was invested with his 
powers by a lex rogata^ and the implication was dangerously plain. 
He was dictator by popular consent; his office was tenable without 
any fixed limit of time ; and there was no compelling reason why 
he'should retire until the support of public opinion was withdrawn. 
Sulla, in fact, was too near akin to the tyrants of Greece. His 
election postponed the oligarchical restoration to a date which none 
could foresee, and in that fact lies the explanation of the resentment 
felt in the circles from which Cicero's prejudices were derived. 

But there were further objections to the new dictatorship which 
others than oligarchs could urge. In reality it was not the early 
dictatorships so much as the Decemvirates of 451 and 450 which 
foreshadowed the office now conferred on Sulla (vol. vii, p. 459), 
In the time of the Decemvirs, as now, the need was for drastic 
changes in constitutional law, and on both occasions the con- 
stituent authority was given inappellable power of life and death. 
Whatever view be taken of the settlement which followed the fall 
of the Decemvirate, a measure to forbid the creation of officers 
from whose sentences appeal did not lie was both appropriate and 
desirable in 449 B.C.; and it was because Sulla, like the Decemviri, 
was to exercise autocratic powers over Roman citizens and this 
for an unlimited time that his position gave cause for reasonable 
alarm. So much may be admitted : but this is not to say that the 
Lex Valeria expressly authorized the proscriptions. Though it un- 
doubtedly implied a general indemnity for such measures as Sulla 
might find necessary in the future for the proper discharge of his 
task, if not for such as he had already taken in the past 1 , the vague 
suggestion of Plutarch 2 that the law empowered him to put his 
political opponents to death is discounted by the testimony of 
Cicero 3 that the proscriptions were the subject of a Lex Cornelia. 
Nor again is it likely, in spite of the definite assertion made by a 
Scholiast 4 , that Sulla was encouraged in the Lex Valeria to do by 
edict what properly was done by law. Probability is in favour of the 
conclusion, with which none of the credible authorities disagrees, 
that the Lex Valeria was a simple measure : it created Sulla dictator, 
defined his task, and for the rest left him to his own devices, 

When Sulla's position was established, the year 82 must have 
been near its end. His triumph over Mithridates was celebrated 

1 Whether the Lex Valeria did anything to supplement the indemnity 
for the past already granted by the Senate is uncertain: the only evidence 
that of Cicero in de lege agr. in, 2, 5 is equivocal. 2 Sulla , 33, I. 

3 ii in Ferr. i, 47, 123. * Schol. Gron, D. af. Stangl, n, p. 314, 

VI, vn] SULLA'S TASK 285 

in January 8 I ; and though both Livy and Appian mention this 
event after their account of his main legislative programme, it is 
clear that the bulk of his laws must have been passed in 8 I and 80, 
even if they had been blocked out, and in some cases promulgated, 
in the last months of 82* The consuls for the year 8 1 M. Tullius 
Decula and Cn. Dolabella were two creatures of the dictator, 
men of no importance or interest save for the circumstances of 
their appointment. It happened that, when the time for the elec- 
tion approached, the renegade Marian, Q. Lucretius Ofella, now 
fresh from his success against the younger Marius at Praeneste, 
was induced to put himself forward as a candidate. He hoped that 
his services to the cause would close Sulla's eyes to the fact that he 
was ineligible, not having been praetor or even quaestor. But 
Sulla would not consent. Ofella was ordered to withdraw; and 
when he refused, the dictator had him murdered in the Forum. 
Sulla was now the constitutionalist with a vengeance. 

After this, though the proscriptions were far from finished 1 , 
Sulla set about his task of reform, The chronological schemes of 
our authorities are so frail that it would be impossible to fix the 
order in which the legislation was carried, even if the order were 
historically important. Fortunately it is not, and the measures 
may best be taken in their logical sequence. The objects which 
Sulla set out to attain can be briefly stated. His first business was 
to stop the system whereby supreme legislative power, theoreti- 
cally vested in the Magistrates and People, had in fact been 
wielded, so far as the popular element was concerned-, by the 
urban proletariate which was in no sense representative of the 
body politic as a whole. This he attempted to do by subjecting the 
assemblies to strict control by the Senate. Secondly, all other 
organs in the government had to be protected against the danger 
of dragooning by the most powerful section of the executive the 
governors of the provinces and other army commanders. Thus It 
falls naturally to consider first the measures taken to fit the Senate 
for the predominant position which it was henceforth to hold. 
Thereafter will follow the arrangements whereby its predominance 
over the assemblies was secured. And finally will come the plans 
designed to subordinate the proconsuls to the government at 
home. So much will complete a sketch of the new constitution, 
and all that will remain is the minor work of detail in various de- 
partments which was not essential to the main scheme of 
constitutional reform. 

1 They appear to have ended officially on I June, 81: Cicero^rtf Roscto 
jimer. 44, 128. 



In 8 1 B.C. the Senate was below its normal strength. Seven 
years before, its members had been noticeably few; but it is 
doubtful whether the recruitment then proposed by Sulla had 
ever been carried out, and it is certain that since 8 8 the House had 
sustained further heavy losses. After the last census in 86, besides 
deaths from natural causes, there had been the inevitable casualties 
of the Civil War, and on top of these had come the proscriptions. 
Sulla himself is said by Appian with some precision to have been 
responsible for the ends of a hundred and five senators. But now 
there was need of a Senate even stronger than it had been im- 
mediately before the outbreak of the Social War. If it was properly 
to fill the role for which Sulla meant to cast it, the House must 
contain all the ability which could be made available and must be 
so constituted as to reflect every shade of responsible opinion. The 
proposal for an addition of three hundred new members was accor- 
dingly revived; and it was carried into effect with a broad-minded 
liberality which not even the malice of Sallust can disguise 1 . With 
a wisdom for which he is not always given credit, the dictator 
broadened the basis of senatorial authority by including in the 
House a selection of that affluent and ambitious class which had 
been the head and inspiration of the opposition since Gracchan 

But this was not all. By an ingenious innovation, on which the 
most diverse interpretations may be put, Sulla provided for future 
recruitment by an arrangement which enabled him to set the 
censorship aside. Ever since the Ovinian plebiscite (vol. vu, 
p* 8 1 8) curule magistracies had conferred on their holders a claim 
to enrolment in the Senate> and since the dictatorship of M, 
Fabius Buteo in 216 B.C. tribunes and quaestors had been allowed 
some hope of a place* Thus the principle of indirect popular elec- 
tion had long been known ; but hitherto it had always been quali- 
fied by the presence of the censors. The discretion of the censors 
was large, and despite all precedents and instructions its exercise 
was hampered by nothing but the necessity of finding some 
plausible reason for departure from the normal practice. But now, 

1 Though Sallust (flat. 37, 6) and Dionysius (v, 77, 5) make the usual 
allegation that the new senators were men of no distinction, drawn in some 
cases even from the rank and file of the legions, it is abundantly clear from 
the result that IAvy'(pit. 89) and Appian (Bel/. Civ. i, 100, 468) are nearer 
the truth In saying that they came from the 'ordo equester.* 


by a law of which a fragment is still preserved 1 , Sulla raised the 
numbers of the quaestorian college to twenty and enacted that 
these twenty quaestors should automatically pass into the Senate 
and so provide that regular supply of recruits needed to make good 
the wastage caused by death. Thus for the maintenance of the 
Senate the censors were no longer necessary; and, since they had 
been prone to use their powers on the strictest interpretation of 
the principles which the Optimates upheld, their deprivation of 
this duty might be hailed as a democratic measure designed to 
free the principle of popular election from its only trammel. 

But, if this was a move in the direction of what passes as de- 
mocracy, the risk it involved was small. Though the authority of 
the Senate might be increased by the fact that its members all held 
their places thanks to the suffrage of the People, the People was 
very far from being invested with the powers hitherto "wielded by 
the censors. Its freedom of choice was severely limited by the 
necessity of selecting from a body of men who had yet to enter 
serious public life: they were little better known to the electors 
than the average parliamentary candidate of modern times, and 
the choice of those who could contribute most effectively to the 
discussions of the Fathers was made almost impossible by the lack 
of evidence for their qualities. But there was another aspect of the 
matter. Censors could admit to the Senate men who had made a 
name after that time of life at which they would have been pre- 
pared to hold the quaestorship and to start on the cursus honorum 
at that steady pace which alone the lex annalis allowed. Such 
people, making a career by their merits, were of the type from 
which Sulla had much to fear, and to them the censors' aid might 
prove invaluable. This was one of the reasons why, when Sulla had 
taken the recruitment of the Senate out of the censors' hands, 
its restoration became a plank in the platform of the -populares* ; . 
Nevertheless, his attack on the office may well have made a wide 
appeal 3 , and it was perhaps only the lack of censors between 8 6 
and 70 B.C. which opened the eyes of certain classes to their value. 

The Sullan Senate calls for careful notice. On it the dictator 
built his hopes ; but it was not that Senate which had so lamentably 
failed in the recent past. Hitherto the class from which Gams 
Gracchus drew his jurors had been in bitter opposition : now it was 
strongly represented in the House. Hitherto, though the results 
of popular election guided the censors* choice, in its immediate 
constitution the Senate had been imposed on the People from 
1 Brims, Forties 1 , iz. 2 Cicero, Dtv. in Caec. 3, 8. 

3 Cicero, loc. cit, 3 Pseudo-Asconius ad loc. (Stangl, ir, p. 326.) 


above : henceforward, since they alone were to be responsible for 
its recruitment, the People might be expected to accept its judg- 
ments with something less than the reluctance of the past. There 
is even a suggestion in Appian that the three hundred members 
enrolled by Sulla were chosen with the People's help ; and, though 
it is not to be supposed that an assembly was allowed to make a free 
selection of three hundred from a longer list, it is by no means im- 
probable that Sulla tried to invest his nominees with the authority 
of popular consent by submitting his candidates, either singly or 
together, to the approval of the People by vote. Whatever be 
the truth about this, it must at least be admitted that by increasing 
the numbers of the House and by destroying the arbitrary influence 
of the censors on its composition, Sulla brought the Senate into 
closer relation with the Populus as a whole: and, whether his 
attempt was successful or not, the scheme can claim the whole- 
hearted admiration of so staunch a popularis and so stern a critic 
of Sulla as Cicero himself 1 . 

The uses to which Sulla put the Senate thus reinforced must be 
reserved for later notice; but here it may be observed that he 
did not fail to provide that increased opportunity for the reward 
of public service which the increased numbers of the House 
required. The colleges of the pontiffs and augurs, which had 
remained unchanged since the Lex Ogulnia of 300 B.C. (vol. vn, 
p. 427), were both enlarged. Each for the future was to have 
fifteen members and, by a repeal of the Lex Domitia of 104 B.C. 
(p. 163), Sulla ordained that these members should be chosen by 
the ancient principle of co-optation unqualified. The first occu- 
pants of the new places thus created were drawn from the brilliant 
band of young hopefuls by whom the dictator soon found himself 


With the Senate thus strengthened to face the tasks to come, 
Sulla's next business was to secure its position against demagogic 
attack. There must be no repetition of the Gracchan episode: 
somehow or other a means must be found to prevent reckless 
politicians from running amuck on the backs of a venal proletariate 
which masqueraded as the sovran People. There is something to 
be said for the view that the most valuable of Sulla's expedients to 
confirm the restraining influence of the Senate over the assemblies 
was the reform, discussed above, whereby the Senate was made 
a body recruited by popular election. But though this fact might 

1 de legibus* m, 1 2, 2,7. 


well affect the attitude towards the Fathers taken by citizens of 
responsibility, it was idle to expect that so subtle a change would 
fill the worthless mob with a respect for senatorial influence strong 
enough to outweigh the attractions of promises made by the un- 
scrupulous victims of personal ambition. Something more was 
needed to thwart the threat of irresponsible legislation* 

In the early centuries of the Republic the making of a law had 
required the co-operation of the Senate, the People and a magis- 
trate, but by the Lex Hortensia of 287 the Senate had in theory 
been eliminated. Nevertheless, the legislative independence of the 
People still remained trammelled by the necessity of securing a 
magistrate to introduce a bill before the assembly could give its 
vote, and herein Sulla found an opportunity which in a full de- 
mocracy he would have been denied. Thanks to the necessity for 
magisterial initiative, if he could bring the magistracy under 
senatorial control, he might curb the licence of the legislature 
without changing the constitutional powers of the assemblies or 
altering their composition so as to deprive the less substantial 
citizens of the franchise. We are not told that Sulla in his dictator- 
ship revived the measure of 8 8 which gave the Senate a general 
right of veto against bills before their submission to the People ; 
and it is unlikely that he did so. During the survival of Sulla's 
constitution, and particularly in 75 B.C., there are signs of consular 
laws for which it is difficult to believe that the agreement of the 
Senate as a whole had been forthcoming. The method to which 
Sulla pinned his faith was different* If periods of civil war be ex- 
cepted, consular legislation had not been dangerous in the past: 
indeed the consulship, save perhaps during the predominance of 
Marius, had given singularly little cause for alarm. In normal 
times, which Sulla seems to have assumed would in futare be 
unbroken, the consuls had been so loyal to the Senate that the dic- 
tator was content to leave them almost as much liberty as before. 
So far as they were concerned, his only precaution was to deprive 
them of a certain obvious temptation to pander to the rabble. The 
rewards of popularity took the form of office, and if office were 
made a rare and ephemeral incident in a man's career, he would 
be the less inclined to cultivate the affections of those by whom 
office was bestowed. Accordingly Sulla had recourse to a revision 
of the lex annalis* 

The Lex Villia of 1 80 B.C., about which our information is 
lamentably defective, seems to have done no more than form the 
quaestorship, praetorship and consulate into an ordered cursus^ 
wherein each stage was a necessary preliminary to its successor, 

C.A.H. IX 19 


and demand a minimum interval of two years between one office 
and the next (vol. VIIL, p. 376). The result of this arrangement, 
if ten years' military service was required in candidates for the 
quaestorship, was in effect to prevent men from holding the 
quaestorship before the age of twenty-seven, the praetorship be- 
fore thirty and the consulate before thirty-three : and, in the cases 
of those who held the curule aedileship, these minimum ages would 
be increased by three years for all subsequent offices. Sulla kept 
the essence of these rules but changed the details. Henceforward 
no man could hold the consulship until he was at least forty-two, 
the praetorship until he was thirty-nine and the quaestorship until 
he was thirty 1 . Thus two ends were achieved. Men could not rise 
to office of influence until they had reached years which should 
bring discretion and, secondly, since quaestors now passed auto- 
matically into the Senate, men would be members of the House 
for eight years at least before they could attain the praetorship 
the first office which gave its holder power to do serious harm. By 
that time they might be expected to have gained some acquaintance 
with the conduct of public affairs and to have assimilated some- 
thing of that political sobriety which was the best characteristic of 
senatorial tradition. 

But this was not enough : the lure of repeated consulships such 
as Marius had held must be destroyed. By a measure which Livy 
assigns to the programme of L. Genucius in 342 B.C. (vol. vn, 
p. 529) but which is more probably to be regarded as a sequel to 
the introduction, fifteen years later, of the system by which im- 
perium was prorogued, magistrates had been prevented from hold- 
ing any office for a second time until ten years had elapsed since 
the end of their first period; and this enactment, which obviously 
affected the consulship most of all, was followed up somewhere in 
the middle of the second century by a categorical rule that no man 
might be consul twice (voL viu, p. 376). So far as we know, 
neither of these laws had been repealed, though exemptions from 

1 The comparatively copious evidence which shows that thirty was the 
normal minimum age required for the quaestorship during the Ciceronian 
period will be found collected by Mommsen in the Staatsrecht* i 3 , pp. 570 sqq. 
The passage which leads Mommsen to the conclusion that Sulla required 
quaestors to have passed their thirty-sixth birthday (Cicero, de imp. Cn. 
Pompei* 21 3 62) is of very doubtful value, because it is uncertain whether the 
phrase 'ullus alius magistratus ' includes the quaestorship or not: see Dig. 
50, 4, i8j 2. For the evidence on the problems connected with the leges 
annales see K. Nipperdey, 'Die leges annales der rom. Republik 5 in dbhand- 
lungen der philol.-hist. Classe der KbnlgL Sachs. Gesellschaft der Wissen- 
schaften y v (1865). 


both had been granted to Scipio Aemilianus In 135 and though 
both had been flouted by Marius and Car bo. 

Sulla seems to have repealed the second. It had been a dead 
letter since 105; and, rich in political ability as Rome might be, 
her resources were not so great that she could afford to employ her 
outstanding citizens in the highest magistracy only once in a 
life-time. The law, a monument of the fears which had seized 
the Senate when its own grip on affairs began to fail, was not 
likely to command the sympathy of Sulla, and he threw it over- 
board. But if repeated consulships were to be permitted for the 
future, there was to be no encouragement for aspiring imitators 
of Marius. The interval often years between a man's first consul- 
ship and his second was to be rigorously required, and the lex 
annalis of Sulla seems explicitly to have repeated the provisions 
on this point originally included in the law of the fourth century. 
Such were the simple means whereby Sulla sought to guard 
against the danger of subversive legislation passed by the Comitia 
with the help of curule magistrates. No man was to acquire the 
ius agendi cum populo until he had been steeped in senatorial tradi- 
tion for at least eight years and had left his impetuous youth so far 
behind as to be verging on middle age. And, secondly, for all alike 
the temptation to curry favour with the masses was reduced by 
the knowledge that office, the only return which the People had to 
make, could come but rarely to a man who had once attained the 


The next problem was more difficult. During the last two 
centuries the tribunate had been so far transformed that its most 
frequent function was to serve as a weapon wherewith the oligarchs 
could block the passage of bills which they disliked (p. 26). 
Nevertheless, on the comparatively rare occasions when the tri- 
bunician powers had fallen into the hands of an able and enter- 
prising opponent, the Senate had received a mauling far more 
severe than the worst outrages perpetrated by any curule magis- 
trate, apart, at least, from those "who had captured Rome by 
force. It was the tribunes who had revived the dormant sovran ty 
of the People. To meet this very urgent menace Sulla adopted 
a simple expedient. Again avoiding an infringement of the 
Plebiscitum Duillianum (p. 208), he enacted that election to the 
tribunate should permanently disqualify a man from holding any 
other office; and we may assume on the strength of Appian's 
testimony that, if iteration of the tribunate itself was not forbidden, 


292. SULLA [CHAP. 

re-election was only allowed after the lapse of the ten years' interval 
required in all other cases. The object of these arrangements is 
plain ? though it has not always been observed. By cutting off tri- 
bunes from all hope of curule office Sulla was in fact trying to kill 
the tribunate. If people believed that his regulations would en- 
dure, as he himself undoubtedly intended them to do, no man of 
ability and ambition would voluntarily commit political suicide by 
becoming tribune. The tribunate would either die for lack of can- 
didates or else the office would fall into the hands of complete 
nonentities and thus become innocuous. 

So much is enough to show that the restrictions imposed by 
Sulla upon the powers of such persons as might hold the tribunate 
in future are of less importance than has sometimes been assumed. 
Nevertheless, they achieved so great a notoriety that their removal 
by Pompey and Crassus in 70 B.C. was thought to mark the 
final collapse of the Sullan constitution; and for this reason they 
cannot be passed over in silence 1 . The right of the tribunes to 
rescue a member of the Plebs from the clutches of a magistrate (ius 
auxilii ferendt) remained intact 2 , but 3 though the general power of 
veto (ius intercessionis) was not wholly abolished 3 ? prohibitions of 
its use in specific circumstances,, of the type incorporated by Gaius 
Gracchus in the Lex Acilia 4 and in his own lex de pro'vinciis con- 
sularibus (p. 64), were probably multiplied 5 . The tribunes also 
found their judicial functions at an end; but this was perhaps not 
so much the result of a desire on Sulla's part to curtail their powers 
as the inevitable consequence of his reform in the sphere of 
criminal procedure (pp. 304 ^^.)- 

The gravest doubts, however, are those which surround the 
most serious issue that which concerns Sulla's attitude to the 
activities of tribunes in initiating legislation by the Concilium 
Plebis. There lay the danger of the tribunate to senatorial govern- 
ment, and it is a disaster that just at this point our evidence for 
Sulla's counter-measures fails. The Epitomator of Livy is explicit 6 
the tribunes lost all power of moving legislation (ius rogandfy 

1 Whatever meaning Appian may have intended to convey by his lan- 
guage in Bell. Civ. I, lOO a 467 (real ovtc e%&> <ra<c5<? eiTrew el SvXXa9 a>VTr)v 9 
KaQcu vvv ecrriv) 69 Trjv J3ov\r)v airo TOV otf/u,ov fAGrrjveyKev^) the passage is of 
no historical value: Appian himself admits that he is in doubt, and there 
is not the slightest reason to believe either that Sulla gave the Senate the duty 
of electing tribunes or that he made none but senators eligible for the office. 

2 Cicero, de le gibus , m, 9, 2,2. 

3 Sallust, Hist, n, 2,1 M, Caesar, B.C. i, 5, i; 7, 3. 

4 Bruns, Fontes*, 10, 1. 70 so. 5 Cicero, u in Ferr. i, 60, 155. 
6 Epit. 89. 


and a certain support for this view may be found in a vague phrase 
of Cicero's 1 . No certain case of legislative activity by tribunes is 
known during the age when the arrangements of Sulla prevailed 2 , 
and there is nothing to compel the rejection of the Epitomator's 
story. On the other hand, it is conceivable that the Lex Plautia de 
reditu Lepidanorum was passed slightly before 70 B.C., and in 
that case, since this was almost certainly a tribunician bill, it would 
follow that the ius rogandi remained. If so, it was undoubtedly 
safeguarded by the provision that senatorial approval must be 
gained beforehand for any proposal to be submitted to the Plebs 3 . 
In either case the Epitomator is in all essentials right: the freedom 
of the tribunes in proposing legislation was gone, and the danger 
of a new Gracchus or Saturninus was, for the time being, at an 


Such were the devices whereby Sulla sought to protect the 
Senate against attacks from the curule magistrates and the tri- 
bunes: as the sequel will show they were not without success 
(p. 329). But in another direction there lay a greater peril, and 
here the precautions of the dictator proved less adequate. To 
complete a general sketch of the central features in the Sullan 
constitution it remains to consider the arrangements designed 
to regulate relations between the central government and the 
commanders of military forces abroad. This was the most vital 
task of all, as no man knew better than Sulla himself. Thrice within 
the last decade Rome had fallen to armed attack, and it was 
obvious that, unless a repetition of this military interference were 
made impossible for the future, the days of senatorial supremacy 
would be few. For the moment the Senate could rely on the sure 
support of Sulla and his troops, but, once this support was with- 
drawn, the arrival of a recalcitrant proconsul with his army at the 
fates of Rome would be instantly fatal. The Senate would either 
e compelled to submit or else would have to plunge the State into 

1 de legibus, in, 9, 22 * . . . vehementer Sullam probo, qui tribunis plebis 
sua lege iniuriae faciendae potestatem ademerit, auxilii ferendi reliquerit.* 

2 On the dates of the Lex Plautia de reditu Lepidanorum and the Lex 
Antonia de Termessibus (Bruns a Fontes 7 * 14), see Note 3 on p. 896. 

3 It appears from Sallust, Hist, in, 47 M. that the Senate had at an 
earlier date not been opposed to the principle embodied in the Lex Plautia. 
If it could be proved that the Lex Antonia de Termessibus was passed before 
the legislation of Pompey and Crassus in 70 B.a, the phrase c d(e) s(enatus) 
s(ententia) * in the preamble would point to the same conclusion. 


civil war by arming some rival marshal to oppose the first. Accord- 
ingly it was necessary at all costs to secure that no provincial 
governor should find himself tempted to march on Rome, and this 
end Sulla essayed to achieve by weakening the bonds which bound 
governors to the troops serving under their command. 

The evidence for the reforms which Sulla introduced is un- 
fortunately for the most part circumstantial, but it is enough for 
the construction of an account which may be accepted, at least in 
outline, without much hesitation. Down to the time of the Social 
War provincial commands had been held by consuls and praetors 
both during the years in which they occupied these magistracies 
and in innumerable cases for a further period thereafter, during 
which they retained their imperium by prorogation 1 . From the 
time of Sulla onwards till 52 B.C., if commands which are clearly 
extraordinary be left out of account, it is rare for a consul, and 
unknown for a praetor, to be employed elsewhere than in Rome 
or Italy during his tenure of the magistracy itself: on the other 
hand, it is regular for ex-consuls and ex-praetors alike to govern 
a province in the year after their term of office in the city. Thus it 
appears that in the early part of the first century B.C. the distinction 
between magistrates and pro-magistrates became more definite: 
the former normally exercised their imperium at home, the latter in 
the provinces. It is by no means to be denied that a tendency in this 
direction had long been growing more pronounced, but probability 
is in favour of the view that Sulla carried the process on another 
stage. Apart from the conclusions which may be drawn from the 
provincial commands known to have been held in the years follow- 
ing 80 B.C., evidence that by 70 B.C. consuls were expected to pass 
on to a governorship abroad is to be found in Pompey 's assertion that 
he would refuse to leave Rome for a province at the expiration of his 
consulship 2 ; and this system may be traced back even to 76 B.C. 
or thereabouts, if the words put by Cicero into the mouth of 
Lucilius Balbus are true of the dramatic date of the dialogue in 
which they occur 3 . The indications are strong in their suggestion 
that on this point the Sullan age saw custom hardening into rule. 

On the other hand, there is no reason to suppose that Sulla set 
up any rigid prohibition whereby consuls and praetors were de- 
barred from military duties during their year of office, and that 

* The attempt of Marquardt (Staatsverwaltung, i 2 , pp. 518 sq.} to restrict 
this arrangement, so far as praetors are concerned, to the period after 1 22 B.C. 
is not wholly justified. See G. De Sanctis, Storia dei Romani, iv, I, 
pp. 504 sq. on the Lex Baebia de praetoribus. 

2 Veil. Pat. n, 31, i. de nat. deor. u, 4, 9. 


these duties were reserved for such magistrates in the twelve months 
immediately thereafter : instances to the contrary are too plentiful 
to be regarded as breaches of a categorical enactment, for the 
existence of which, it must be remembered, explicit evidence is 
altogether lacking. .There is no need to search the history of the 
Ciceronian age : the ten years following the Sullan legislation pro- 
vide material enough to show that the Senate was left with a wide 
discretion to continue the imperium of pro-magistrates and to 
bestow military commands on whom it would. First for some 
exceptional appointments. On two occasions the consuls took 
charge of armies: in 78 B.C, M. Lepidus and Q. Catulus were 
commissioned to deal with the trouble in Etruria (p. 315), and in 
74 B.C. the Senate sent L. Lucullus and M. Cotta to fight Mith- 
ridates. Again, M. Antonius (Creticus) appears to have been 
praetor when he was appointed to face the menace of the pirates 
in 74 B.C. 1 , and after the consuls of 72 B.C. had failed to make 
headway in their attacks on Spartacus, it was a praetor 
M. Crassus who was chosen to succeed them. Finally, the young 
Pompey twice received armies to command in 78 B.C., perhaps 
as a subordinate of Q. Catulus 2 , and secondly in 77 B.C. when he 
was certainly independent though he had never held a magis- 
tracy of any kind at all : but it should be noticed that the new com- 
mission in Spain was offered in the first place to the consuls of 
77 B.C. and only went to Pompey because they refused the task 3 . 
In these cases, however, the circumstances were to some extent 
unusual. The rising of 78 B.C. and the revolt of the slaves under 
Spartacus were not normal incidents in the life of Italy, the dis- 
patch of Pompey to Spain came at a time "when one ex-consul 
Metellus Pius was already there, the pirate war which occupied 
the attentions of M. Antonius made a quite special call on the 
resources of the government, and the Asiatic expedition of the 
consuls of 74 B.C. cannot have been unconnected with the bequest 
of Bithynia to Rome. 

These incidents show that the Senate could provide as it willed 
for emergencies of whatever sort ; but, though the government of 
the comparatively peaceful provinces seems generally to have been 
in the hands of ex-praetors or ex-consuls according to the later 
practice, even here the commands were by no means all confined 
to a single year. The prolonged control of Cilicia by P. Servilius 
Isauricus may have been due to the same set of circumstances as 
led to the commission of M. Antonius; but the two years of 

1 Veil. Pat. ii, 31, 3. 2 Plutarch, Pomp. i6 3 1-2. 

s Cicero, PhiL xi, 8, i8j Val. Max. vm, 15, 8. 


C. Cosconius in Illyrlcum 1 and the three during which Sicily suf- 
fered under Verres are not explained by any peculiar peril in the 
local situation. Thus it seems that Sulla in no way tied the Senate's 
hands. It was perhaps his ideal that praetors and consuls, having 
been occupied for a year at Rome, should pass at once to the pro- 
vinces for another year and no more, but the exceptions to this 
practice are so numerous that Sulla cannot be supposed to have 
formulated it as a binding rule. Nevertheless, there is every pro- 
bability that this was the direction in which he looked. The two 
Spains, the two Gauls 2 , Macedonia, Asia, Cilicia, Africa, Sardinia 
and Corsica which went together, and Sicily made ten provinces 
in all for which governors had to be found, and it is significant 
that, by raising the praetorian college to eight (p. 299), Sulla 
secured that the number of praetors and consuls passing out of 
office at the end of each year should be the same as that of the 
provinces which these men were eligible to govern. Thus there 
would be one man available for every province every year, and 
provincial governorships would tend to become annual. 

This was the end which, though he did not insist on an unbroken 
observance of the system indeed, it would have been absurd to 
demand a yearly change of general in an important war Sulla 
put it in the way of the Senate to attain. At the very least some 
sort of order would be introduced into the method of making 
these appointments: the State need no longer live from hand to 
mouth, leaving a governor in office year by year until someone 
could be found to take his place, but a due succession of qualified 
candidates would always be available. At best, if the Senate made 
the most of its opportunities, governors would leave their pro- 
vinces after twelve months' control, and in that brief period they 
could scarcely find time to turn the troops under their command 
into a personal following, prepared to set loyalty to a leader before 
duty to the State. In that case something would have been 
done to diminish the menace of those great soldiers whom the 
Senate feared but could not do without. 

If Sulla had been content with this, conjectures about his atti- 
tude to the proconsuls might reasonably be dismissed as idle 
speculation : but fortunately he went farther and gave expression 
to his views in a way which leaves no room for doubt. Since the 
crimen maiestatis minutae was invented in 103 B.C. (p. 160^.), the 
content of the charge had been largely left to the imagination of 
the prosecutor and the court : it was Sulla who first formulated the 

1 Eutropius vi, 4; Orosius v, 23, 23. 

2 On Cisalpine Gaul, see below, p. 301 sy, 


offences which might legally be interpreted as treason. And he did 
more than this . The nature of treasonable action action dangerous 
to society in its existing form varies with the nature of the con- 
stitution : many of the crimes which under an autocracy are the 
most heinous form of treason cannot even be committed in a full 
democracy, and some which are possible in both cases differ 
greatly in gravity according to their constitutional setting. A con- 
stitution needs a sanction if its stability is in danger, and when the 
constitution is changed the sanction must be changed as well 1 . It 
was Sulla who made the lex maiestatis the sanction of the consti- 
tution of Rome, and from, his time onwards a new constitution 
regularly brought with it a new treason-law: if we knew more 
about the measures on this subject passed by Julius Caesar 2 and 
Augustus 3 , we should be less uncertain than we are about the 
nature of their constitutional ideals. Fortunately, though the text 
of the Sullan law is not preserved, Cicero records 4 the gist of some 
of its provisions^ and therein is revealed one of the sources from 
which Sulla foresaw danger to his dispensation. For a governor 
to leave his province, to march his army beyond its frontiers, to 
start a war on his own initiative, to invade the territory of a [client] 
king without orders from the Senate and Roman People these 
are the acts which, doubtless among many others, were made 
treason; and they are all of them acts which, if committed at 
all, would be committed by some ambitious proconsul whose 
subservience to the Senate was less complete than the Sullan 
constitution required 5 . 

Thus Sulla betrays his fears, and his betrayal is evidence enough 
that in the provincial governors he found a menace to his arrange- 
ments. And so it may be said in conclusion that the dictator, having 
dealt with the risk of revolutionary legislation at home, essayed 
to protect the Senate against its military captains, partly by en- 
couraging the reduction of their commands to an annual tenure 
and partly by making the least sign of independence in such 
quarters a criminal offence. The Senate's need was great, for here 
lay the gravest danger; and the sequel will show that this was the 
side on which the defences raised by Sulla had their weakest spot. 

1 See Cromwell's c Act declaring what offences shall be adjudged Treason' 
of 17 July 1649, in S. R. Gardiner, Constitutional Documents of the Puritan 
Revolution (ed. 3), pp. 388 sqq. 2 Cicero, Phil. I, 9, 23. 

8 Dig. 48, 4^ cf. Tac, jinn, in, 24, 3, 4 In Pis. 21, 50. 

5 To deprive governors of an obvious temptation, Sulla even seems to have 
made it an offence for them to stay In their provinces more than thirty* days 
after the arrival of a successor (Cicero, adfam. in, 6, 3). 


Such is the outline of the Sullan constitution an attempt to 
establish senatorial government on a sounder basis than before 
and to surround it with safeguards against its most formidable 
enemies. The Senate was to be recruited entirely by indirect elec- 
tion, without any possibility of interference from the censorship, 
and its personnel- was strengthened at the start by a large addition 
of new members drawn from the prosperous commercial class. 
The curule magistrates were given time to assimilate the senatorial 
outlook before they rose to positions of serious responsibility, and 
obstacles were set in the way of men whose outstanding ability 
might seem to justify a peculiar speed in their ascent to the highest 
offices of State. In particular, the arrangement that ten years 
must elapse between a man's first tenure of the consulship and 
his second discouraged ambition altogether, more especially if 
a consulship did not normally carry with it the expectation of a 
provincial command of more than twelve months' duration. The 
tribunate was closed to men whose gifts entitled them to hope for 
a serious political career, and the effective power of such as were 
willing to hold the office at all was destroyed. Finally, the menace 
of the proconsuls was reduced by the suggestion that their com- 
mands should be confined to the space of a single year and by 
the insertion of clauses in the lex maiestatis designed to repress 
thoughts of disloyalty to the prevailing constitution. 


Besides strengthening the authority of the Senate by making it 
more representative of the best elements in the State, Sulla's en- 
largement of that body served to provide a greater number of men 
eligible for the highest posts in the administration. The scarcity of 
civil servants was a long-standing difficulty, and some of Sulla's 
own innovations had rendered the need more pressing. His re- 
organization of the criminal courts made serious calls on the 
praetorship, and his attack on the censorship, whether he con- 
templated this result or not, led to a suspension of the office 
which left several important functions to be transferred to 
other shoulders. For whatever reasons, there was an expansion 
of the magistracy. It has been seen above (p. 287) that the 
quaestors were increased to twenty, of whom, since eleven were 
normally employed on provincial service, rather less than half 
would be available for duties in the city; and, besides this, new 
members were added to the praetorship. Here, however^ the 


extent of the additions is a matter of dispute. The praetorship as 
Sulla found it was still in all probability a college of six the num- 
ber which it had reached in 197 B.C. and retained, apart from the 
ephemeral changes caused by the Lex Baebia (vol. vm, p. 366)^ 
throughout the second century. In the Ciceronian age, before the 
dictatorship of Caesar 3 there is evidence enough to show that the 
praetors were regularly eight 1 ^ and this is the number needed, 
with the addition of two consuls^ to provide each of the ten pro- 
vinces with a new governor every year. If eight was the normal 
number after Sulla's time, he would appear to have increased the 
praetorships by two, and this version of the change is almost 
certainly correct 2 . 

The eight praetors, except in the most unusual circumstances 
now wholly confined to work in Rome, had their hands ade- 
quately occupied by the demands of judicial administration, but 
they still occasionally found time to help the consuls with the 
business which the absence of censors soon threw on to other 
magistrates: thus it was that Verres'andone of his colleagues came 
to be concerned with repairs to the Temple of the Castores 3 . 
In the first instance, however, it was the consuls on whom these 
duties fell, and the consuls are to be seen engaged in operations 
which .suggest that they took over general responsibility for the 
work involved in the former censoriae locationes^. The tasks of the 
censors had grown so numerous in course of time that it is idle to 
ask in detail how provision was made for their discharge. Some, 
indeed, such as the recruitment of the equites equo publico^^ may 
have been left to the automatic working of a system as simple as 
that which fed the Senate from the quaestorship* Others had 
already lost their usefulness : as direct taxes had not been levied 
since 167 B.C. and conscription for the army had been abandoned 
in practice since 108 B.C., there was no compelling need for 
a general census of the citizen body. 

1 Compare Cicero, pro MIL 15, 39 with in Pis. 15, 35 for 57 B.C.; and 
see ad. fam. vm, 8, 8 for 5 1 B.C. 

2 The statement of the jurist Pomponius (Dig. i, 2, 2, 32) our only 
explicit authority for Sulla's dealings with the praetorship that he added 
four new praetors and so, presumably, raised the college to ten is nowhere else 
confirmed, nor is it saved by the theory of A. W. Zumpt (Rom. Criminalrecht 
H, i , pp. 333 sq.} that Sulla allowed the Senate discretion to fix the actual number 
of praetorships at any figure between eight and ten inclusive to meet such 
needs as might arise from the creation of a new province. For this theory 
there is no adequate evidence relevant to the Sullan age. 

3 Cicero, 11 in Ferr. i, 50, 130. 

4 Ib. m, 7, 1 8. 5 See Mommsen, Staatsrecht, in, p. 48 < 


Nevertheless, It is not to be supposed that Sulla's intention 
was for the censorship to be abolished. When the office was 
revived in 70 B.C. (p. 336), no repeal of legislation ^ seems to 
have been required; and there is another consideration which 
suggests that the dictator contemplated that censors would be 
regularly appointed, after his time as before. Without a periodic 
census the Comitia Centuriata must rapidly become unworkable. 
Had he envisaged a system wherein censors had no place, he 
must either have looked to the consuls themselves to review the 
Centuries, as they had done in the early fifth century B.C., or 
else have reconciled himself to the certainty that the Cen- 
turiate Assembly would rapidly degenerate into a mere survival 
like the Comitia Curiata. Neither alternative is probable. The 
burden of the census would be a very heavy one, even for consuls 
now free from military calls; and it is difficult to believe that 
Sulla, who had shown his approval of the Centuries in 88 B.C. 
(p. 208) and who submitted to them his law depriving re- 
calcitrant Italians of the citizenship 1 (p. 302), would have 
gratuitously acquiesced in the destruction of that Assembly 
which beyond doubt was most nearly in accord with his own 
political ideal. Many as were the functions which had passed 
from this body to the Comitia Populi Tributa or the Concilium 
Plebis, it was still the Centuries which performed the task 
a task which under Sulla's arrangements was perhaps even more 
important than before of electing consuls. Though it is certain 
that he took the composition of the Senate out of the censors' 
hands, the needs of the Comitia Centuriata combine with the 
complete silence of the authorities to forbid the conjecture that 
Sulls intended the censorship itself to fall into abeyance. 

Little as we know of Sulla's views on the constitutional func- 
tions of the Roman People, scarcely more can be said about his 
social legislation. It is clear that recent wars in Italy and the East 
had produced a financial crisis, which it was the first business of a 
statesman to relieve. The measures taken by Sulla to raise revenue 
in Asia were drastic enough (p. 259 sq.\ but they were not all. 
According to Appian 2 , he exacted a forced levy of large dimensions 
on the whole Roman world beyond the frontiers of Italy, not even 
exempting States which had been granted immunitas ; and, besides 
this, money was raised by the sale of political privileges for cash 3 . 
At the same time he took an obvious and attractive step to reduce 
expenditure : the public sale of corn to the Roman populace was 

1 Cicero, de domo sua 9 30, 79. 

2 Bell. Civ. i, 102, 475. 3 Plutarch, Comp. Lys. et Sullae, 3, 2. 


abolished 1 . But Sulla's interest did not stop at public economies : 
ill as it became a man of his peculiar tastes, he legislated at length 
against private extravagance. A limit was set to expenditure on 
food, the maximum cost of tombs and funerals was prescribed and, 
in the same optimistic vein, the dictator went on to deal with the 
public morals. To such futility even a man of Sulla's common- 
sense could stoop : but belief in the value of sumptuary legislation 
was a delusion which even the most enlightened minds of Rome 
rarely managed to escape. 


The final feature of Sulla's work at home is one which belongs 
rather to the changes which he wrought in the organization of 
Italy. He left a permanent monument to his achievements in an 
extension of the pomerium^ the sacred boundary of the city which, 
according to the custom at this time observed, might be altered 
by none but those who had increased the Italian territory of Rome 2 . 
On the Adriatic side the northern frontier had probably been 
advanced from the Aesis to the Rubicon before the time of 
Sulla, but his change in the course of the -pomerium is enough to 
show that he could somehow claim to have added to Roman soil. 
The enfranchisement of the Italians might have supplied the 
necessary title if Sulla could have claimed that work as his, but it 
is perhaps more probable that some rectification in the boundary 
inland or to the west was carried out in connection with his 
arrangements for the government of Cisalpine GauL 

Since the early years of the second century, the ager Gallicus 
round Ariminum and the great stretch of country northwards to 
the Alps had normally been, like Italy itself, under the direct 
charge of the consuls and their subordinates. Such in general seems 
to have been the case so late as 82 B.c, 3 ; but seven years later 
Cisalpine Gaul was clearly one of the ordinary provinces governed 
by ex-magistrates 4 . As Mommsen saw, this reform can scarcely 
have been due to anyone but Sulla. Cisalpine Gaul was the key to 

1 This emerges from a passage of Licinianus (p. 34 F.) which appears to 
record a resumption of $&& frument attorns after Sulla's death. 

2 Seneca, de bre*v+ vitae^ 13, 8. 

3 Compare Cicero, n in Ferr. I, 13, 34 with Appian, Bell. Civ. i, 87, 
3945; cf. ib. 66, 303 (87 B.C.). The view of E. G. Hardy (J.R.S. vi, pp. 
658) that Cisalpine Gaul was provincialized in 89 B.C. is difficult to accept. 

4 Sallust, Hist. 11, 98 dM. The evidence of vSallust for 75 B.C, is con- 
firmed by that of Plutarch, Lucullus, 5, i, for the following year. 


Italy: its unruly neighbours in the Alps made the presence of a 
garrison almost essential: and, if the consuls were to be purely 
civil administrators so long as they held the magistracy, they were 
well rid of the obligation to administer this military region in the 
north. Accordingly, Cisalpine Gaul became the tenth province of 
the Roman Empire, and such it remained until the time of Julius 

In Italy itself Sulla's work was of a more contentious kind* The 
claims of his veterans must be met a task difficult to achieve 
without hardship to some part of the population ; but in addition 
there were some old accounts to settle, and the dictator was not 
the man to let his enemies go without their due. It was a small 
matter, though one which caused much trouble in the future, that 
the descendants of those who had perished in the proscriptions 
lost not only their property but part of their citizen rights as well : 
more serious were the general expropriations of which Appian 
draws a lurid picture 1 . 8 The promise to the Italians (p. 271 jy.) was 
honoured wherever it had been followed by loyal adherence to 
the Sullan cause, but to those whose resistance had continued no 
mercy was shown. Samnium was wellnigh devastated 2 , and all 
over the peninsula those who backed the loser paid the price : such 
was the severity of Sulla's revenge that one city Volaterrae 
fought on till 80 B.C. and then was only reduced after a siege 
directed by the dictator in person. Fines were levied, property 
was confiscated and, in virtue of a most drastic law, whole 
communities lost the citizenship. 

This remarkable enactment seems to have been directed chiefly 
against some of those who might otherwise have claimed the 
dvitas under the legislation passed during the Social War; but the 
validity of this attempt to disfranchise citizens by law was open 
to grave objections, and, as we know from Cicero's speech on 
behalf of Aulus Caecina, it was finally admitted to be indefensible. 
Nevertheless, the troubles of Sulla's victims could not be ended by 
attacks, however successful, on the law which was their cause, and 
this for the sufficient reason that property set free by the resultant 
confiscations had been bestowed on Sulla's veterans, who were not 
men of the sort to be ousted with ease. The problem of finding 
pensions for the ex-soldiers who looked to Sulla for their livelihood 
attained dimensions never known before. The legions to be de- 
mobilized were variously estimated at twenty-three 3 or even 
more 4 , which meant the provision of allotments for over a hun- 

1 Bell Civ. i, 96, 445-8. 2 Strabo, v, 249. 

3 Appian, EelL Civ. i, 100, 470. 4 Livy, Epit. 89. 


dred thousand men 1 ; and when this mass had once been esta- 
blished in the places vacated by the victims of confiscation, it was 
not likely to be uprooted by anything less than a defeat in civil 
war. On such land as he could set free by fair means or foul Sulla 
planted his veterans in colonies, of which at least fourteen are 
known. Not all of them were wholly new: in some cases the 
settlers lived side by side with the survivors of the old community, 
as in the familiar instance of Pompeii, where quarrels between the 
rival sections of the population supplied material for a charge 
against a patronus coloniae Cicero's disreputable client P. Sulla, 
a nephew of the dictator 2 . 

Such were the means by which Sulla paid his debts to the men 
"whose loyalty had been the foundation of his success. For the 
moment, at the cost of much hardship to the people of Italy, his 
troops were satisfied ; but the evil results of the social upheaval 
caused by their appearance were widespread and enduring. If 
Sulla intended them to form garrisons which would uphold the 
new constitution, his hopes were soon belied. Unyielding as was 
their devotion to Sulla himself, their enthusiasm for his friends 
was mild : the Senate was not a body which could stir the emotions 
of such men as these, and before long they were to be found among 
its most formidable opponents. Of the copious evidence for their 
fall from grace it will be enough to recall the fact that at the time 
of the Catilinarian affair the leaders of the discontent could rely for 
backing, not only on the victims of the Sullan confiscations, butalso 
on the majority of the veteran settlers who, in the course of less than 
twenty years, had drifted into bankruptcy and were now yearning 
to repair their shattered fortunes with the plunder of another civil 
war (p. 492). These nests of violence and sedition were the monu- 
ment which kept green the memory of Sulla on the Italian country- 
side, and it is no matter for surprise that the name of their 
founder soon came to be held in detestation. 

The claim that the dictator's work in Italy contained other more 
beneficent provisions cannot be admitted. Though the veteran- 
colonies were doubtless given charters in the form of leges datae, 
there is nothing to show that, either for these or for the Italian 
communities lately incorporated in the Roman State, Sulla pro- 
vided anything in the nature of a standard constitution. It is not 
to be denied that, thanks to the enfranchisement of the allies, the 
attention of Roman statesmanship was called to the problems of 
municipal organization ; but the suggestion that the Sullan legisla- 
tion included a general lex municipalis is as ill-founded as the vierar 

1 Appian, Be/L Civ. i, 104, 489. 2 Cicero, pro Sulla, 21, 6o-6& 


that Cinna was responsible for such a measure, or the conjecture 
that regulations of this kind were to be found in the laws whereby 
the ci<vita$ was extended to the Italians during the Social War. 


There remains what was to be the most abiding of Sulla's 
achievements his reforms of the clumsy and obsolescent method 
whereby criminal cases had hitherto been tried. Such changes in 
the law as Sulla introduced will be considered elsewhere (pp. 876 
sqq^) : here it is enough to notice his changes in procedure. The ex- 
isting arrangements bore many signs of their origin in days when 
Rome was still a small community, whose citizens could make all 
public business their own. In trials of a criminal nature, where 
punishment rather than reparation was sought, the exercise of the 
magistrate's imperium was hedged about by safeguards which de- 
manded the intervention of the People. Judicial cognizance of an 
alleged crime might in theory be taken by any magistrate. The con- 
suls and their quaestors might be expected to deal with the most 
serious : the praetors, though their main occupation was with civil 
suits, were not debarred from criminal cases : even the aediles, for 
all their lack of imferium^ were invoked to take charge of minor 
offences where the penalty was at most a fine: and finally there 
were the tribunes, who in the great age of the Republic had ousted 
even the consuls and had appropriated to themselves, with general 
approval, the duty of proceeding against all grave malefactors 
whose supposed offences had any kind of political significance* 

Yet by the second century B.C. all these magistrates and officers 
had been reduced to little more than prosecutors : they were no 
longer competent judicial authorities, because, though their right 
of passing judgment was unimpaired, their power of immediate 
execution was rendered almost negligible by the series of laws 
on pro<VQcatio. No capital or corporal punishment, not even a fine 
greater than a traditional maximum, could be inflicted on a 
Roman citizen before his appeal had been heard by the People 
and rejected. This had an inevitable result: every magistrate to 
whom there came a case in which the appropriate penalty was of a 
kind agaitist which an appeal could not be refused took the matter 
to the People at the outset. The practice thus created was in many 
ways objectionable* Even if it was admitted that the urban plebs 
was a worthy representative of the Populus Romanus, it could 


scarcely be maintained that a public assembly of indefinite di- 
mensions was the best possible jury to deal with issues often of 
some complexity. Accordingly, expedients to escape the difficulty 
were from time to time devised. At first by the People acting on 
the suggestion of the Senate, then by the Senate alone ; and finally 
from 113 B.C., the date of the Rogatio Peducaea (p. 97) by the 
People in defiance of the Senate's desire, some magistrate or magis- 
trates received a commission to hold the necessary trials when a 
grave offence was known to have been perpetrated on a consider- 
able scale. The magistrates concerned then generally collected a 
consilium of prominent men and thus was constituted a court whose 
sentences, even when the People had not assisted in its formation, 
seem by a most remarkable development to have been capable of 
execution without appeal. It was against the Senate's claim, on 
occasions when such a court had been established without the con- 
currence of the People, to abrogate the right of the Comitia to 
have the final word in cases where a caput was at stake that Gaius 
Gracchus had protested in his lex ne quis iniussu populi capite 
damnetur (p. 56 sq^]. 

But there was one connection in which the second century B.C. 
had seen a more promising experiment than these haphazard 
attempts to provide an effective court whenever one was needed. 
It was inevitable that from time to time the provincial populations 
should complain that they had been fleeced by a rapacious gover- 
nor, and these complaints presented a problem of some difficulty. 
Since their authors were not Roman citizens, the suits would most 
naturally go to the praetor inter cives et peregrines, who then, in 
accordance with the practice which was regular in cases of an 
international character, would appoint a body of recuperatores. 
Such was the procedure followed on the classic occasion in 171 B.C. 
when the provincials of Spain asked for redress from their oppres- 
sors (vol. vin, p. 3IO) 1 , and something like it was not unknown 
even after Sulla's time 2 . But under such circumstances the suit 
remained a matter of private law, and this was objectionable for 
two reasons. In the first place the issue was clearly one of public 
interest; and, secondly, since the praetorian jurisdiction was 
essentially civil, it was difficult to brand extortionate behaviour by 
holders of imperium as a criminal offence, to be expiated only by 

1 Livy, XLIII, 2. 

2 When the young Caesar acted as patronus for the Greeks in 77 B.C., 
they were seeking simple restitution from C. Antonius in an action before 
the praetor inter elves et peregrino$ 9 who on this occasion was M. Lucullus 
(Asconius, p, 84 c.). 

C.A.H. IX 


a penalty and not by mere restitution unless some other form of 
cognizance were devised. 

In this direction the first and greatest step was taken by Lucius 
Piso, the consul of 133 B.C., who during his tribunate in 149 B.C. 
introduced a plebiscite whereby the system adopted in 171 B.C. 
was established as the regular procedure in all charges of extor- 
tion, and the court, no longer dependent on the imperium of the 
praetor, was founded on the surer basis of the authority conferred 
by a legislative act. Thus, though the penal element was not yet 
introduced, extortion was brought within the scope of public law, 
and procedure was formulated for the constitution of a court when- 
ever the need for it arose. The history which begins with the 
plebiscite of 149 B.C. has three aspects to be noticed here. First, 
there is the struggle for the right to sit on the juries. At the 
outset senators alone were eligible, but from the time of Gaius 
Gracchus till that of Sulla, save for the brief interval due to 
the Lex Servilia Caepionis of 106 B.C. (p. 1 6 r sq.\ the privilege was 
confined to rich men outside the senatorial class. Secondly, the 
penal element in the result of a verdict adverse to the defendant 
received ever greater emphasis. And, finally, fresh courts, inspired 
by the model of 149 B.C., were formed to cover other parts of the 
field of criminal law. Here the indicium populi rapidly gave way to 
the indicium publicum. 

It may be doubted whether this extension had begun when 
Gaius Gracchus passed the Lex Acilia 1 , and Plutarch's story of 
Marius' prosecution in 1 1 6 B.C. 2 scarcely proves that a quaestio for 
charges of electoral corruption had been established by that time. 
But it is clear that before 95 B.C. murder had been brought under 
the new system by the creation of a quaestio de sicariis et ^oeneficiis^^ 
Soon afterwards a quaestio de <vi publica had perhaps been added, 
though the date of the Lex Plautia cannot be accurately fixed ; and 
it is not unlikely that the crime of peculatus had received similar 
provision by 86 B.C. 4 

This, however, is as far as the development appears to have pro- 
gressed when Sulla set out to complete the scheme. His task was 
large, involving, as it did, not merely the creation of new courts, 
but the definition of all offences now under the jurisdiction of a 
quaejstio and not adequately defined already. But it was not Ids 
business to frame a comprehensive criminal code. His affair was 
with those major crimes which called for punishment of a kind only 
permissible, under the old dispensation, after the People had given 

1 See Note 2 on pp. 892 sqq. 2 Maritis., 5, 2-5. 

3 Dessau 45, * * Plutarch, Pomp. 4., 1-3. 


its consent: minor charges might be left to the magistrates as before. 
The matters with which Sulla had to deal were grouped for con- 
venience under a number of heads, and for each a law was passed 
specifying the crimes concerned and creating machinery for their 
trial* Of these Leges Corneliae there were seven, two of them 
concerning crimes primarily of private life injuries involving 
personal violence, and forgery, one the /ex de sicariis et <vene- 
ficiis dealing with murder and certain relevant cases of judicial 
corruption 1 , and four devoted to outrages on the public life of 
Rome: these were laws on extortion, on peculation both ap- 
parently aimed only at those who were guilty of these practices 
in an official capacity, on bribery at elections, and on treason. 
To this it should be added that at some time either shortly before 
Sulla's legislation or a few years thereafter, public violence was 
made the business of a special quaestio set up by a Lex Plautia. 
Thus the indicia publica came to cover all the graver crimes, and 
the age of the iudicia populi was at an end, 

Of the eight praetors now annually in office, two were required 
for the business of the civil law. The remaining six were each 
assigned the presidency of one of the indicia -publica; and, as there 
were not praetors enough for all the courts, the quaestio de sicariis 
et veneficiis was usually put under the charge of an ex-aedile with 
the title ofiudex quaestionis. But, though the president for the year 
was known, it was a merit of the system that the jurors were not. 
About the composition of the juries, now drawn entirely from the 
Senate, our information is lamentably vague. It is clear that, when 
a case was beginning, the jury was empanelled by the prosecution 
and the defence exercising their right to challenge a certain num- 
ber of the persons included in a decuria of the Senate : when this 
reiectio was complete, the survivors heard the case and gave the 
verdict. But it is an open question whether the Senate, at the be-r 
ginning of each year, was divided into decuriae which were- main- 
tained for twelve months and assigned in turn to the courts as their 
needs arose or, as is perhaps more probable, a decuria was formed 
by sortition for each -trial as it came on for hearing 2 . All that can 
be said with confidence is that, if the decuriae were periodically 
formed without regard to the immediate demands of judicial 
business, Sulla did not make themistake of distributing them forth- 
with among the courts. For the parties to have known from the 

* Cicero, pro Cluentw^ 54, 148. 

2 The remarks of Schol. Gronov. B (Stangl, n, p. 335) are not well in- 
formed: if they could be trusted, the second alternative would become 


outset which decuria would take the case would have been an 
invitation to corruption, and those who attribute to Sulla so im- 
prudent an arrangement as this do him an injustice for which there 
is no adequate authority. 

Whatever may have been the method whereby a jury was ob- 
tained, there are two features in the system which call for final 
notice. One is that, by an enactment probably repealed in 70 B.C., 
Sulla left the defendant free to decide whether the jurors should 
give their votes openly or by ballot 1 . The other, and by far the 
more important, affects the part played by the Populus in criminal 
jurisdiction. Though the details of the theory are obscure, the fact 
that the quaestiones were established by law to investigate the evi- 
dence on which the defendant was alleged to fall within a class of 
criminals against whom the People had, in the law itself, already 
formulated the penalty which it thought fitting goes far to justify 
the claim that the verdicts of the iudicia -publica should have final 
validity. To this may be added, first, the analogy of the unus 
iudex in civil procedure, whose findings had never been subject to 
appeal, and, secondly, a late concession whereby the execution 
of a death sentence could be escaped by voluntary exile. The 
attempt of Antony in 44 B.C. to allow appeal in cases of treason 
and public violence was regarded as a most unhealthy innovation, 
and his enactment ran only for the briefest time : when it was 
rescinded, the proposal was never afterwards revived* 

Such in brief was Sulla's attempt to provide Rome with an 
adequate machine for the administration of criminal justice. Of 
all his works this was the most enduring. It survived the confusion 
of the revolutionary age and only fell into disuse when the advent 
of the Principate created a new and superior authority whose 
activities by degrees encroached on the iudicia publica, as on all 
other branches of the judicature. The manning of the machine 
soon became a matter of dispute : the Sullan courts inherited a 
legacy of political controversy from the quaestio repetundar&m 
which was their model, and the Senate only maintained its mono- 
poly of the juries till 70 B.C. But, just because this was the only 
political issue involved, the machine itself remained intact. In its 
creation Sulla found a task to which his peculiar genius was ad- 
mirably suited : it gave scope to those amazing powers of organiza- 
tion which were his greatest gift, and, because the recruitment of 
the juries was irrelevant to the system as such, unlike his other 
undertakings, its value was not impaired by his excessive faith in 
the vigour and stability of the Senate. 

1 Cicero, pro Cluentio, 27, 75* 



The history of affairs at Rome during the period of Sulla's 
supremacy contains little more than the tale of his legislation* It 
is true that in the early months of 79 B.C. the youthful Pompey 
took a long step in his progress to pre-eminence by inducing Sulla 
to allow him, in spite of his never having held a magistracy, the 
honour of a triumph for his exploits against the Marian rump, and 
that in the previous year Cicero had won a place in the front rank 
at the Roman bar by his successful defence of the younger Sextus 
Roscius. But the political life of Rome was stifled under the in- 
cubus of the dictatorship* To that extraordinary office Sulla had 
added the consulship in 80 B.C., taking as his colleague Metellus 
Pius a most estimable citizen, whose significance is chiefly due 
to his inheritance of his father *s inability to win a war- The consul 
of 80 B.C* in due course took command of Spain, and there his 
failure against Sertorius gave Pompey the same opportunity as 
Marius had been offered by the ineffectiveness of Numidicus in 
Africa. For the following year Sulla was on the point of being 
elected again ; but now his work was done, and at his suggestion 
the consulships of 79 B.C. were given to Appius Claudius Pulcher 
(see above, p. 262) and P, Servilius Vatia, later famous as the elder 
Servilius Isauricus. Then at last, confident in the loyalty of his 
supporters both in Rome and Italy, when his consulship had 
expired Sulla laid down his dictatorial powers. In 78 B.C. he died 
at his Campanian seat, and his public funeral in Rome, though 
it was not granted without protest, was held amid scenes which 
bore witness to the multitude of those who had cause for gratitude 
to the dead. 

Sulla's achievement demands no complicated judgment. For 
all their interest to a moralist like Plutarch, his private life and 
character are of slight concern to the historian. That he was a 
hard liver and a man ruthless in his ways with opposition are facts 
beyond dispute; but they have no bearing on the central issue 
the question of his place in the constitutional development of 
Rome. Nor, again, is there any need to dwell on his capacity for 
organization* The arrangements which he made in Asia (p. 259^.) 
and his enduring development of the indicia publica are enough to 
show that, when it was a matter of constructing machinery to per- 
form the work of daily administration, Sulla was not inferior to 
Augustus himself. But it is on his conception of the constitution 
most suitable for Rome that his reputation depends. As has beeti 
said above, the problem was not of his own creation. First," the 


enfranchisement of Italy made it essential to curb the powers of 
the urban plebs which, masquerading as a typical selection of the 
Populus Romanus, had lately been claiming with a new insistence 
to exercise untrammelled the tremendous powers of a sovran de- 
mos. And, secondly, the Marian system of military recruitment 
had brought with it armies capable of such dangerous devotion to 
their leaders that measures were urgently needed to strengthen 
the control of the central government over its executive in the pro- 
vinces. But the means which Sulla took to secure these ends were 
of his own choosing, and it is by the adequacy of these means that 
the value of his reform must be assessed. Sulla's attempt to in- 
crease the authority of the Senate, both by enlarging its numbers 
and the field on which it drew and by providing that indirect 
popular election, without the possibility of interference by the 
censors, should be the only mode of access to a seat, was an attempt 
on the most promising lines. Though the censorship was re- 
vived in 70 B.C. for a time, the constitution of the Sullan Senate 
differs from that of Augustus only in the lack of some minor re- 
gulations necessitated by the advent of a Princeps. Again, the 
lex annaltSy likewise adopted by the Empire without essential 
change, served within its limits to curb the independence of the 
consuls. Save in 70 and 59 B.C., curule magistrates caused little 
trouble after Sulla's time, and on both these occasions it was an 
army which made them dangerous. 

The tribunate, however, presented a more difficult problem. In 
fairness to Sulla it must be admitted that the positive powers which 
he allowed the tribunes to enjoy were peculiarly like those which 
they retained under the Augustan arrangements; but there was 
one essential difference that Sulla left the Concilium Plebis alive, 
whereas under Augustus it was dead. So long as the plebeian 
assembly and the tribunate both survived, there was a danger: 
legislation might strive to keep them apart, but, if the legislation 
failed, the way for a new Gracchus was clear. It has been seen 
that, in this situation, Sulla's hope was to kill the tribunate by 
depriving it of serious candidates for the office ; but the blow he 
delivered was not mortal, and the tribunate recovered. In the end, 
his attack did no more than supply his enemies with a battle-cry 
in the demand for a restoration of the tribunes 7 pristine powers, 
But the attack itself was justified, and the misfortune of Sulla lay 
rather in his inability to destroy the office outright and what was 
still more necessary to end the activities of the Concilium Plebis 
for ever. He must not, indeed, be blamed for sparing the as- 
semblies the time was not ripe for their suppression : but it cannot 


be denied that the Julio-Claudians found a better way when they 
silently removed the People from the Roman Constitution. One 
point, however, must be added* Though Sulla did not permanently 
stop the demagogic agitation of the tribunes, he left the office so 
completely fettered that its holders were powerless for evil until 
their bonds were loosed* The sequel will reveal one fact of 
great importance that in their struggle for freedom the tribunes 
could win no tangible success by their own efforts alone, and that 
it was only the championing of their cause by other men men 
who had armies at their backs which finally enabled the tri- 
bunate to throw off the shackles imposed by Sulla. 

And so at length we reach the rock on which the Sullan system 
foundered. The divorce of the magistracy from the pro-magistracy 
was a development hastened, indeed, by Sulla but started long 
before his time which had the most beneficent effects when it 
was completed in 52 B.C., and subsequently accepted by Augustus. 
The arrangements to make possible an annual tenure of provincial 
commands were salutary so far as they might render it more dif- 
ficult for governors to establish a personal claim on the loyalty of 
their troops. But all this went for nothing when politicians were 
generals and the armies depended on their generals for pensions 
at discharge. Even if commands had never run for more than a 
single year a system most dangerous to the effective conduct of 
war sooner or later, with the army as it was, a general and his 
troops were bound to discover that each could serve the other. To 
cope with such a threat no oligarchy could be competent : at best 
it could start a civil war by arming one of its members to meet the 
menace, and even that might mean no more than changing one 
master for another. Until the time should come when the armies 
would be the armies of the State, assured that the State itself had 
a system to reward faithful service with adequate provision for old 
age, and convinced that intervention in political affairs would be 
visited by punishment inevitable and condign, there was one 
way alone to provide security against recurrent military tyrannies. 
A monarch must be found to command all the Roman forces, and 
he must be allowed to choose his own subordinates, looking as 
much for loyalty to himself as for competence in the performance 
of their duties. For such a role Sulla was not cast. The age was 
not ready for a principate. The peril from the proconsuls had yet 
to be appreciated in all its gravity, and Rome had to pass through 
the fire of the Civil Wars before she would reluctantly accept even 
the veiled monarchy of Augustus. 

For his day Sulla did well. The Senate could not be deposed; 


and so long as the Senate remained supreme It is hard to see what 
greater powers it could have been given or what stronger defences 
could have been erected against its enemies. The weakness of 
Sulla's work is to be ascribed partly to his failure to have done for 
good with the travesty of popular sovranty exercised by the urban 
mob, and still more to his own great refusal of the crown. Yet the 
fault was venial. Caesar might say that by surrendering the dic- 
tatorship Sulla showed ignorance of the political ABC, but it was 
largely from Caesar's own career that men grappling with the 
problem of the Roman government learnt the essence of their 
task. To blame Sulla for his ignorance is to blame him for having 
lived thirty years too soon* 

But Sulla's work was not wasted. In administrative organiza- 
tion he served Rome well, and there is not one of his enactments 
under this head which, if it did not survive intact, failed to bear 
fruit of value. Even in the sphere of politics Sulla taught his 
successors a lesson which none was so foolish as to ignore. His 
ideal of senatorial supremacy might be impossible, but his methods 
of seeking it were instructive. Once and for all he showed that an 
elaborate programme of legislation, of the sort which the Gracchi 
had lamentably failed to carry through with the support of the 
Concilium Plebis, could be enacted in all its parts by one who re- 
lied upon the army. Of the two legs which carried the Augustan 
principate the Gracchi had rested on the tribunicia fiotestas. It 
was Sulla who showed the political value of the imperium : and of 
these two the imperium was incomparably the more valuable. If 
the Sullan system collapsed, as it shortly did, its collapse would be 
due to the action of the army, and the task of the next reformer would 
be to bring the army under control Sulla had shown the means 
to be employed the army itself. And so it emerged from Sulla's 
work that the business of Roman statesmanship was with military 
support to create a government able to command unbroken 
allegiance from the army. Though he did not supply the answer, 
Sulla set the problem in a form which minds less acute than those 
of Julius and Augustus could scarcely fail to grasp. 




^ I] ^HE state of Italy in 78 B.C. was dangerous. When Sulla died 
J[ and men had no more cause to fear a return of the dictator- 
ship, grievances which are the inevitable legacy of drastic change 
began to find violent expression. Within a few months the Senate 
was confronted with a crisis. Its statesmanship and its competence 
to wield the powers put into its hands were submitted to a search- 
ing test; and this ordeal was only the first of many. Though its 
performance can scarcely be called distinguished, the government 
repelled the first attack an attack delivered by M. Aemilius 
Lepidus, one of the consuls of 78 B.C.; but the continuous pres- 
sure of which the affair of Lepidus was only the beginning rapidly 
revealed the weakness of the senatorial position, and before ten 
years were out the citadel of the Sullan constitution had fallen. 

The most vocal, though by no means the most formidable^ 
section of the opposition was one which clamoured for an im- 
mediate emancipation of the tribunate* The tribunate was an 
office of the highest value to any aspirant for power whose gifts 
or opportunities gave no promise of a military command ; and, 
when the restoration of its full authority was demanded by am- 
bitious politicians, their claims found warm support among the 
masses* The prestige acquired by the early champions of the Plebs 
still lingered round the office, and in more recent days it was to the 
tribunes that the masses had been indebted for some of the most 
valued privileges of Roman citizenship : land allotments and cheap 
corn had not been the result of consular legislation. Amply as 
Sulla's attack on the tribunate had been justified, it had the un- 
fortunate consequence of giving the enemies of his constitution 
a plausible and effective war-cry. Such was the most obvious 
source of discontent. A second, which showed its effects through- 
out the length and breadth of Italy, was the arbitrary confiscation 
whereby Sulla had taken property from his enemies in order to 
bestow it on his troops. The victims of expropriation could not 
be expected to refuse a chance of repairing their shattered for- 
tunes, and the military settlers themselves men for whom the 


monotonies of agricultural life held few attractions were ready 
to welcome an opportunity of return to the more profitable excite- 
ments of war. 

All this unrest was made doubly dangerous by the presence of 
men able and anxious to exploit it. Little was to be feared from, 
the young hopefuls whose interests did not go beyond the tri- 
bunate: but, besides these, the Senate had to face the consistent 
hostility of the business class, whose aim was to recover its hold 
on the administration of criminal justice, and the natural ambition 
of its generals, who would not long refrain from protest when the 
obstructive arrangements of Sulla threatened to debar them from 
office and commands to which they were entitled by past success. 
There was thus no lack of discontents, or of leadership to make 
their agitation effective. In the history of the decade following 
Sulla's death two outstanding phases may be distinguished. First, 
the admirers of the tribunate are found making ineffective demands 
for its liberation; and secondly, failure is suddenly turned into 
success when their efforts are joined by those of the commercial 
interests and the military politicians. The Senate is then forced 
back at every point. Before this, however, there stands a some- 
what isolated episode, whose central figure is ML Aemilius Lepidus. 


. M. Lepidus, father of the triumvir and probably son-in-law of 
Saturninus, was a man of contemptible character, small ability and 
unlimited ambition. His praetorship in Sicily had given the pro- 
vincials a foretaste of their subsequent experiences at the hands 
of Verres 1 , and his later activities in Italy during the days when he 
was still a follower of Sulla had not been without considerable 
profit to himself 2 . But, though he had lent a hand against Satur- 
ninus in i oo B.C., his devotion to the oligarchical interest was a 
passing phase. The fellow was a mere adventurer, and there is no- 
thing to show that at any stage of his career his policy was determined 
by more honourable motives than a resolve to play for his own 
hand alone. As the work of Sulla progressed, it became ever 
clearer that .nothing more was left to do in the interests of the 
Senate, If anywhere there was need for a champion, it was on the 
side of those who sought to destroy the Sullan constitution ; and 
towards them Lepidus soon inclined. When in 79 BX. he stood 
as a candidate for the consulship, he did so as an open enemy of 
the dictator ; and though Sulla did not strike him down, he made 
1 Cicero, u in Ftrr. in, 91, 212. 2 Sallust, Hist, r, 55, 18 M. 


no concealment of his displeasure at the help which the man was 
receiving from the young Pompey 1 . 

Lepidus was returned at the head of the poll with Q. Lutatius 
Catulus, son of Marius* rival at Vercellae (see above, pp. 149 sqq?)> 
Catulus was a thoroughbred oligarch, and before long the consuls 
found themselves at loggerheads. Their earliest recorded quarrel 
was over the ceremonies at the funeral of the dead dictator, but later 
in the year Lepidus opened a far graver issue by proposing to re- 
verse some of Sulla's most controversial enactments. Sequestrated 
land was to be restored to those from whom it had been taken, the 
exiles were to be recalled, and a bill for the resumption of frumen- 
tationes was introduced, perhaps even passed 2 . The attitude of 
Lepidus to the tribunate is a matter of some doubt. Before his 
brief career was ended he certainly lent his name to the demand 
for a restoration of its powers 3 , but at an earlier stage he is alleged 
by Licinianus 4 , in a passage which is admittedly not altogether 
accurate, to have urged that the office be left under the disabilities 
imposed by Sulla. If the views of Lepidus on this question under- 
went a change, there need be no surprise. Since the struggle of 
the Orders had closed, the old unfettered tribunate had become 
an institution whose veto was at least as useful to the Senate as its 
initiative in legislation was to the classes outside the oligarchy : it 
could be argued with some plausibility that on balance the People 
were not losers by its limitation. Such may have been the belief of 
Lepidus : but, on the other hand, the demand for its release from 
Sulla's trammels was one which could attract a large body of 
support among the masses, and nothing forbids the conjecture 
that the political value of the cry led Lepidus to change his 

In face of the dangers thus suddenly provoked, the Senate in- 
duced the two consuls to swear that they would refrain froin a 
resort to arms. But, though Lepidus agreed to keep the peace at 
least until his consulship ran out, there were disturbances in Italy 
which called for military intervention ; and, if armies took the field 
for the maintenance of order, there was every likelihood that they 
would end by intervention in political disputes. There had been 
an ominous rising at Faesulae, where some of the dispossessed had 
attacked the Sullan settlers and deprived them of their holdings 
after a struggle in which several were killed. The veterans were 
not the men meekly to submit to such treatment as this, and both 
consuls seem to have gone north with troops to prevent the spread 

1 Plutarch, Pomp, 15, 12,. 2 Licinianus, p. 34 y. 

3 Sallust, Hist, i, 77, 14 M. 4 Pp. 334 F. 


of violence 1 . The sequence of the events which follow is far from 
clear. Lepidus had secured Transalpine Gaul as his province for 
the year 77 B.C., and this doubtless served as an excuse for levying 
troops . But he made no attempt to leave Italy, though he did not 
return to Rome when his presence was needed for the consular 
elections* Instead, he sought to consolidate his position in 
northern Italy, where he had an active lieutenant in M. Juniiis 
Brutus, father of the tyrannicide. When at length he was sum- 
moned by the Senate to the city to hold the elections already over- 
due, he marched on Rome with an army and a whole series of 
demands which now included the restoration of the tribunate and 
a second consulship for himself 2 . 

The immediate result was to put the leaders of the oligarchy 
on their mettle. With the unusual support of L. Marcius 
Philippus, the enemy of the younger Livius Drusus, they induced 
the Fathers to pass the senatus consuhum de re publica defendenda^ 
and then to take the still graver step of invoking the aid of the 
young Pompey. Creditable as these measures were to the energy 
of the Senate, they did not bode well for the future. Though 
Pompey was probably no more than a legatus^ nominally serving 
under Catulus, it was utterly against the intention of the Sullan 
constitution that a man who had never held a magistracy of any 
kind should be given high military employment. His appoint- 
ment suggested a dearth of generals among the elder statesmen, 
and the passing of the * last decree ' was no testimony to the govern- 
ment's confidence in itself. Lepidus was a puny figure : yet more 
than was done against him would scarcely have been possible if 
another Hannibal had stood at the gates of Rome. 

Whatever their implications, these measures were at least 
effective. Lepidus, defeated by Catulus outside the city 3 , retired 
to Etruria, whence he shipped the remnants of his army to Sar- 
dinia. Brutus was driven into Mutina by Pompey and, when he 
had surrendered on terms after a considerable siege, was basely 
murdered by order of his unscrupulous conqueror. In Sardinia 
Lepidus soon died, whether by violence, disease or disgust at the 
misconduct of his wife our authorities are undecided, and what 
was worth saving of his army was taken by ML Perperna to swell 
the forces of Sertorius in Spain. So ended an episode which, tire- 
some as it was while it lasted, had no great significance. However 
weak the Senate may have been, Lepidus was not the man to over- 

1 Licinianus, p. 35 F. 2 Plutarch, Pomp. 16, 3. 

3 According to Flprus 11, 1 1 (in, 23), 6, Pompey was present at this battlej 
but the other authorities restrict his activities to the northern campaign. 


throw it. He had no ideals beyond his own aggrandizement, and 
he was rightly judged by a sagacious young man whom the death 
of Sulla had brought back to Rome : though he was no friend of 
the oligarchs, Julius Caesar left Lepidus severely alone 1 . Never- 
theless, the affair is not without a place in history. It revealed an 
alarming degree of discontent in Italy : it showed the Senate be- 
having with that anxious energy which is the mark of feeble 
governments: and., above all, it provided Pompey with another 
stepping-stone in his unprecedented advance to the position of 
first citizen of Rome. 


The final settlement with Lepidus and his friends had been de- 
layed till 77 B.C., and business had been so far suspended by the 
confusion that the year opened without consuls. For a time there 
was an interregnum until the vacant places were filled by two most 
worthy nobles D Junius Brutus and Mam. Aemilius Lepidus 
Livianus, the latter perhaps brother of the younger Livius 
Drusus 2 . These nonentities claim notice for one thing alone : they 
gave their names to a year which is a turning-point in the con- 
stitutional development. The aristocratic government, under whose 
direction the foundations of the Roman empire had been laid, fell 
into rapid decay during the last thirty years of the second century 
B.C.; but the decline, which in the days of Marius and Saturninus 
had threatened soon to prove fatal, was abruptly arrested by Sulla. 
The Senate was restored to a position of supremacy which, to all 
outward appearance, was farther beyond the reach of challenge 
than any it had occupied before, and the resuscitated oligarchy 
was equipped with an armoury of weapons for use against its 
divers foes. Its future seemed assured, provided only that it 
showed the strength and spirit to stand up against attack. 

The first real test came in 77 B.C., when the failures of Metellus 
Pius in Spain made it necessary to send him a colleague more 
worthy of Sertorius (p. 320 sq^. For this appointment Pompey be- 
came an insistent claimant. When Catulus ordered him to disband 
the army he had used at Mutina, he found various excuses for delay, 
until finally after search had failed to disclose even one outstand- 
ing member of the Senate who was both competent and willing to 
face Sertorius he was given the coveted post on the proposal of 
that old man of the sea, L. Philippus. To the Sullan constitution 

1 Suet. D/V. luL 3. 

2 See F. Miinzer, Romische jidelsparteien und 


this was a fatal blow. Pompey had no semblance of the qualifications 
which Sulla had required in candidates for such a command. He 
was not a senior member of the Senate; indeed, he was not a mem- 
ber at all : and more important still he was no sound friend of 
the oligarchy. He used it so long as it served his purpose ; but his 
early support of Lepidus., and now his attitude to the vacancy in 
Spain, are evidence enough to show that his obligations to the 
Senate would not be allowed to hinder his own advancement. Now, 
for the second time within a single year, the Senate thrust an army 
into the hands of this enterprising youth. .And on this second 
occasion he was not even nominally under the command of another. 
He went to Spain as the equal colleague of Metellus : he came back 
the superior, not only of all other military men in Rome, but of the 
Senate itself. Yet, though the Spanish mission of Pompey sealed 
the fate of Sulla's constitutional work, it is easy to sympathize with 
the difficulties of the government. If the two Luculli be left out 
of account and neither of them was as yet of proper standing, 
though Lucius had got some special dispensation from the 
lex annalis^i no other candidate came near to Pompey in military 
reputation. Lack of an alternative and knowledge that his quali- 
fications were high indeed, everything except the Senate's duty 
in its own interests to uphold the Sullan system combined to 
suggest his appointment. Nevertheless, the choice was fatal. For 
the next six years, the Senate might appear to hold its own ; but 
the power it had planted in Spain soon passed out of its control, 
and Pompey *s return to Italy was the signal for a revolution. 

After the burning of Numantia (see vol. vui, p. 322) had closed 
a chapter in the efforts of the Lusitanians and Celtiberians to re- 
gain their freedom Spain was undisturbed by war for about thirty 
years. But we cannot assume either that the Roman rule became 
more acceptable or that the brigandage which was suppressed 

1 Cicero, dead. pr. n, i, i. 

2 For Spanish affairs from the fall of Numantia to the Sertorian War we 
rely upon Appian, Iberica, 99100, supplemented by occasional items in the 
Ftisti triumphales and the Epitomes of Livy. The principal authorities for the 
Sertorian War are Plutarch, Sertoriw, Pompey (17-20) and Appian (BelL 
Civ i, IE 681 5), supported by the fragments (Books i and n) of the Historiae 
of Sallust, the Epitomes of Livy, writers who abridged him, and numerous 
references in such authors as Cicero, Strabo and Frontinus. Two strains of 
tradition can be traced, popular and aristocratic. The popular sympathies of 
Sallust are reflected in the favourable narrative of Plutarch, but in Appian 
and the writings based upon Livy we can detect the apposite bias; 


during the governorship of Marius (i 14 B.C.) was an isolated ex- 
ample of disquiet. When a new generation had grown to manhood 
revolt was ablaze once more. After Arausio the victorious Cimbri 
invaded Spain, but were expelled by the Celtiberians. This notable 
deed of arms incited both Lusitanians and Celtiberians to insur- 
rection and during the next ten years much blood was shed. The 
Lusitanians, though checked at the outset by L. Cornelius Dola- 
bella who triumphed in 98, immediately rose again in concert with 
the Celtiberi and Vaccaei. Two governors of consular rank, 
T. Didius (consul in 98), conqueror of the Scordisci,andP. Licinius 
Crassus (consul in 97), re-established the ascendancy of Rome by 
the usual methods and triumphed in 93, the former over the 
Celtiberians, the latter over the Lusitanians. Of the vigour of 
Didius there can be no doubt rebellious towns were razed to the 
ground- and the inhabitants of Termantia, a powerful and re- 
fractory city, were removed from their hill-fortress to an unwalled 
settlement on lower ground but his treacherous massacre of un- 
armed Celtiberians 1 reminds us of the brutality of Galba towards 
the Lusitanians. Permanent peace, however, was not secured, for 
the Celtiberians had to be chastised again by C. Valerius Flaccus 
after his consulship in 93. Thus from the fall of Numantia to the 
Sertorian War Spain passed through a half-century of uneasy 
peace marred by one violent revolt. No doubt while high tribute 
continued burdensome and governors oppressive Roman nego- 
tiator es did not lose their opportunity of exploiting the Iberians. 
The stage was being prepared for the tragedy of Sertorius. 

Quintus Sertorius, the last and greatest name in the story of 
Spain under the Roman Republic, was born a Sabine at Nursia in 
123, He had escaped the stricken field of Arausio to serve under 
Marius against the northern barbarians, and hia experience as a 
military tribune under Didius in the Celtiberian war where he 
gained an appreciation of his enemies and a profound knowledge 
of guerrilla warfare, marked him out as an exceptionally brave and 
capable officer. Moreover, by the end of the MarsicWar where he 
served first as quaestor in Cisalpine Gaul and later as a commander 
in Italy, the scarred veteran of thirty-five had become a, popular 
figure, but met with a rebuff in his first political campaign. In 
88 when a candidate for the tribunate he was rejected through the 
opposition of Sulla, to whom the election of a distinguished officer 
of municipal descent and a potential if not already an actual 
opponent was doubly unwelcome. Ranked, therefore, with the- 
Marian party but gravely mistrusting Marius himself, he played 

1 Appian, Iber. 100. 


a part in, and was a restraining influence after, the seizure of Rome. 
We hear nothing further of him till 83, when after trying to stiffen 
the resistance offered to Sulla (p. 273) he was sent at the end of the 
year to govern Nearer Spain 1 . Thus the Marian leaders in Italy 
sent away their best general and may have been glad to see the last 
of a pungent critic. No doubt a man of his stamp who, as Sallust 
says 2 , * sought during the Civil War to be esteemed for justice 
and goodness, * was overshadowed by larger but inferior growths. 

During the winter he crossed the Pyrenees by the Col delaPerche, 
having bribed the natives to let his army through. Once in Spain, 
he overcame the governors and spent the rest of the year 8 2 in 
raising a force of Celtiberians and Roman residents and building 
ships to hold the peninsula against Sulla. Aware of the danger, 
Sulla proscribed him at once and early in 8 i sent out C. Annius 
Luscus with two legions to recover Spain. Outnumbered and 
handicapped by the treachery of a subordinate, Sertorius fled to 
Mauretania and during an interlude experienced those hardships 
and romantic adventures which are so graphically described by 
Plutarch 3 , But after cheating him of his desire to seek oblivion 
in the Isles of the Blessed, fortune smiled once more upon the exile. 
Entreated by the Lusitanians to lead them in yet another revolt 
from Rome, he landed in 80 at Baelo, west of Tarifa, where a force 
of 4700 awaited him, and soon defeated L. Fufidius, the governor of 
Further Spain, on the Baetis. By the end of the year he had raised 
his forces to 8000 and was ready to take the field against the best 
generals Sulla could send. Lusitanian and, later, Celtiberian hill- 
men, captivated by his personality and by his adroit appeal to their 
superstitions, were welded into an army officered by his Roman 
followers which learned to excel not only in the improvisations of 
guerrilla warfare, but also in more conventional battle-pieces. An 
organizer and a commander of genius, he remained for eight years 
(7972) undefeated in any general engagement. 

Serious hostilities began in 79 when Q, Caecilius Metellus Pius, 
the governor of Further Spain, planned to crush Sertorius between 
his own army and that of M. Domitius Calvinus from the Nearer 
province* But the combined manoeuvre failed. While Sertorius 
kept Metellus occupied, L. Hirtuleius, his best lieutenant, defeated 
and killed Calvinus near Consabura (now Consuegra) between the 
upper valleys of the Tagus and the Guadiana; and Sertorius 
similarly dealt with Thorius, a legate of Metellus. Hirtuleius then 
marched against the defenceless northern province, while Sertorius 

1 From Appian, Bttt.Civ. i, 86, 392 it is clear that he had been praetor, 
possibly in 87. * Sallust, Hist, x, 90, M. 3 Sert. 8-9. 


harassed the southern and pinned Metellus down to cautious 
strategy. Exploration 1 has thrown light upon the advances carried 
out in 79 and 78 by Metellus from his headquarters on the Gua- 
diana: to the north he penetrated as far as the Sierra de Guadarrama; 
on the west he advanced towards the mouth of the Tagus ; and to 
the south-west he was worsted by the cunning of Sertorius at the 
siege of Lacobriga (now Lagos). But in 77 he seems to have with- 
drawn to the line of the Baetis., and in that summer Sertorius was 
free to march across central Spain and extend his power among 
the Celtiberi. Hirtuleius had already been operating there and 
had defeated L. Manlius, governor of Gallia Narbonensis., who 
attempted to interfere. From the story of the march of Sertorius 
from Lusitania to the Ebro we can appreciate his versatility as a 
commander ; to oust the cave-dwellers of Caraca he pressed into 
service the north-east wind and a storm of dust., but against the 
fortress of Contrebia he employed more orthodox methods for 
forty-four days, and finally spared the garrison. By the end of 
the year 3 he was master of Spain from the Sierra Morena to the 
Pyrenees and his influence extended to Gallia Narbonensis and 

He had created a Romano-Iberian power which under favour- 
able conditions might enable him to interfere in Italian affairs* 
On the east coast, between the Roman stronghold of Nova Car- 
thago and the ,Ebro 3 Saguntum and Lauro alone resisted him; 
Dianium was his naval arsenal and harboured his allies the Cilician 
pirates. From his Roman followers he appointed a senate of 300 
to act as a Council of State, and at Osca 3 his capital^ he opened a 
school where Celtiberian chieftains sent their soiis aiicf unwittiitgl^ 
provided him with hostages. Moreover, towards; tEb end' of 77^ 
he was reinforced from Sardinia by the rethaius of the arm^ of 
Lepidus, some 20,000 infantry and 1 500 horse, commanded by 
Per per na (p. 316). Small wonder 3 therefore, that in the summer of 
77 the Senate, fearful lest a second Hannibal might invade Italy, 
had been driven to the distasteful step of commissioning Pompey 
to set their Spanish house in order, as it was said, * nan -pro consuls 
sed pro consulibus^J On the march out the new commander met 
trouble in Gallia Narbonensis, but outflanked the Salluvii by 
building a new road through the Cottian Alps (by Mont Genevre) 
and reached Spain for the campaign of 76. 

The second phase of the war then opened, a struggle for the 

1 For example a Roman camp near Caceres is to be regarded as a con-r 
struction of Metellus. For this and other evidence see A. Schulten, 
Sertorius 3 pp. 6673. 2 Cicero, Phil. xi 8, 18. 

C.A.H. IX 31 


coast plain of Valentia, an arena where aggressors from the north 
were naturally challenged by defenders of the peninsula, and a 
region of vital importance for supplies. In his first campaign 
Pompey maintained this contest single-handed and unsuccessfully, 
He sought to win a base for operations against the Celtiberian 
highlands by attacking the plain of Valentia from two sides ; he 
himself was to descend from the north, a quaestor, C, Memmius, 
was to land at Nova Carthago and march up from the south, 
Sertorius, who clearly expected that the east coast would be the 
decisive theatre, left Hirtuleius to watch Metellus in the southern 
province and posted Perperna, with Herennius in reserve, to pre- 
vent Pompey from crossing the Ebro. He himself remained in the 
upper Ebro valley so as to be able to intervene either against 
Pompey or against Metellus* At the outset Pompey forced the 
crossing of the Ebro and marched down to Saguntum ; Perperna 
fell back upon Valentia. Sertorius thereupon descended from the 
upper Ebro and began to besiege Lauro, the capture of which 
would secure Perperna and Herennius at Valentia. Pompey's 
efforts to raise the siege were disastrous. Outstripped, first, in a 
movement to seize a commanding elevation west of the city he was 
then severely defeated in an attempt to crush Sertorius between his 
own army and the city. Later, his foraging parties were enticed to 
destruction and a legion sent to the rescue was annihilated. *The 
pupil of Sulla' had indeed been taught a severe lesson 1 . Out- 
manoeuvred Pompey abandoned Lauro to Sertorius and marched 
back towards the Ebro. 

Farther south, however, the calculations of Sertorius were rudely 
shaken, for Hirtuleius was routed at Italica by Metellus when en- 
deavouring to prevent him from joining Pompey. Apparently his 
strategy was blameless, but his tactics in exposing his men to the 
burning heat of an August morning while the enemy were 
sheltered within their camp contributed to his defeat. After his 
victory Metellus refrained from intervention on the east coast, 
possibly because of the advanced season, and marched up to the 
eastern Pyrenees where he wintered. But Pompey, anxious to re- 
trieve his failure, began to reduce the Celtiberi around the upper 
Ebro. The year's balance of success clearly lay with the rebels, for 
the repulse of Pompey outweighed the disaster to Hirtuleius. 
Moreover, it is possible that we should assign to the winter of 
765 B.C. the conclusion of an agreement between Sertorius and 
Mithridates 2 . In return for 3000 talents and 40 ships Sertorius 
undertook to send him an officer and men and to recognize his 
1 Plutarch, Serf. 18. 2 See p. 358. 


conquests in Bithynia and Cappadocia, but he was too loyal a 
Roman to allow a claim to the province of Asia 1 . Closely allied 
with the King that menaced Rome in the east and with the corsairs 
that harassed her communications with every province Sertorius 
was indeed at the height of his power. 

The operations of 75 formed a climax. While Pompey again 
attempted to win the plain of Valentia Metellus marched down 
from the Pyrenees and inflicted upon Hirtuleius at Segovia a de- 
feat which decisively influenced the course of the war. In tactics 
the battle was on the pattern of Ilipa (vol. vm, p. Sg) 2 . Its results, 
the loss of his second-in-command and the union of Pompey and 
Metellus, were blows which presaged ultimate defeat for Ser- 
torius. Meantime there had been severe fighting on the east coast. 
Outside Valentia Pompey was attacked by Perperna and Heren- 
nius, but routed them with heavy loss and took the city* Herennius 
was amongst the dead, but Perperna fell back upon Sertorius in 
the lower Sucro valley. Elated by this success and anxious to 
follow up his victory, possibly before Metellus should intervene, 
Pompey flung his smaller army against the combined forces of 
Sertorius and Perperna. Although the brilliant generalship of 
Sertorius more than compensated for the failure of Perperna 
neither side could claim a distinct advantage, but on the following 
day Metellus joined Pompey and saved the situation. * If that old 
woman had not come up,' lamented Sertorius, *I would have 
thrashed the youngster and sent him back to Rome 3 / His army, 
however, was shaken in morale by the news of Segovia and was 
temporarily disbanded. The sacred fawn which was said to attend 
upon Sertorius as the visible evidence of divine favour was not to 
be found> but with its reappearance hope returned, and an army 
again took the field. This time, however, Sertorius failed to make 
good a defeat of Perperna by Metellus ; but he threw himself into 
Saguntum 4 and continued to defy his opponents. The Roman 
generals, therefore, bafHed by the skilful moves of Sertorius and 
in constant anxiety about their supplies, abandoned their venture 
in the plain of Valentia. Metellus, for whatever reason, withdrew 
to Gaul, but Pompey spent the autumn in attacking Celtiberian 
towns, like Clunia, between the upper Ebro and the Douro, always 
with the hope of forcing Sertorius to a pitched battle. Leaving 

1 Plutarch (Serf. 23) is to be preferred to Appian (Mithr* 68), who 
includes the province of Asia. 

2 Frontinus, Strat. u, 3, 5. 3 Plutarch, Serf. 19. 

4 Sallust, Hist, u, 64 M,, supports this interpretation of the vague account 
in Plutarch,, Serf, 21. 


a legatus to winter among the Celtiberi 1 he retired towards the 
western Pyrenees and composed the despatch which was read to 
the Senate early in 74 B.C. 2 No exception could be taken to his 
demands for reinforcements, supplies and money, since the suc- 
cesses of Sertorius, the activity of the pirates and the failure of 
the Gallic harvest were sufficient explanation ; and nerves already 
strained by agitation at home and grave trouble elsewhere abroad 
would not be eased by the studied pessimism of Pompey's con- 
cluding words : * I warn you that unless you come to the rescue I 
shall be unable to prevent your armies here from marching back 
to Italy and bringing with them the whole Spanish war/ This out- 
burst, supported from personal motives by the consul L. Lucullus 
who feared that the return of Pompey to Italy might menace his 
own Asiatic command, had the desired effect. Two legions and 
money were sent to Spain. 

The arrival of this help coincided with a complete change in the 
conduct and fortunes of the war. The Roman generals, now con- 
vinced of the futility of struggling for the plain of Valentia against 
the combination of Sertorius and the pirates, changed their battle- 
ground and their strategy; they delivered a combined attack 
against the Celtiberian highlands and applied themselves to siege 
warfare. Operating in the mountains south-west of the middle 
Ebro Metellus captured such strongholds as Bilbilis and Sego- 
briga, while Pompey was busy around the head-waters of the 
Douro. But Sertorius still showed his quality; at Pallantia he 
forced Pompey to abandon the siege, and at the end of the year 
before Calagurris, the key to the upper Ebro, he worsted the com- 
bined armies of Pompey and Metellus with, the loss of 3000. 

But the situation had now completely changed, a crisis had been 
passed and the defeat of Sertorius was only a matter of time; in the 
south-east the Celtiberi had fallen away and their last strongholds 
to the north-west were beginning to totter* In 73 while Metellus 
remained in his province Pompey continued alone against en- 
feebled opposition, and by the end of the year few towns held out, 
This collapse is easily comprehensible* The Romans had been re- 
inforced, they had profited by defeat and they were pressing home 
the superiority of a giant. Among the Iberians the will and the 
f>ower to resist were failing ; a century's struggle for freedom had 
taken toll of physical and spiritual stamina from tribes whose 
elation after victory had been equalled by depression after defeat. 

1 Schulten (op. df. p. 121) ascribes two of the camps preserved near 
Renieblas east of Numantia to Pompey and his legate Titurius. 

2 Sail ust, Hist, n, 98 M. 


Moreover, their leader himself was driven by disappointment and 
mistrust to loss of self-control and to stern and even tyrannical 
measures. Perperna, his evil genius, took advantage of the col- 
lapse of his forces and of his growing unpopularity to plot against 
his life. In 72 the great outlaw, like Viriathus before him, was 
basely murdered* Perperna then fell an easy prey to Pompey, who 
crowned his victory by a great refusal to open the correspondence 
found in the enemy's camp. No doubt many a Roman noble who 
had intrigued with Sertorius breathed more freely. A few towns 
remained to be overcome, and the siege of Calagurris where the 
garrison devoured the bodies of women and children sets a seal of 
horror upon the tale of the war. The year 7 1 saw Pompey and 
Metellus back in Italy. The trophy of victory which the younger 
commander proudly erected upon the summit of the Col de la 
Perche commemorated his capture of eight hundred and seventy- 
six towns, but in accordance with a wholesome practice and 
a regard for truth made no mention of his invincible antagonist. 

An examination of the career of Sertorius compels assent to the 
striking but guarded tribute paid to his memory by Mommsen 1 . 
'So ended one of the greatest men, if not the very greatest man 
that Rome had hitherto produced a man who under more for- 
tunate circumstances would perhaps have become the regenerator 
of his country/ Although it is futile to speculate upon his political 
future had his career ended in triumph not in tragedy, the great 
capacity which he displayed as an outlaw would surely have been 
reproduced on the stage of public service. In any case he is worthy 
to take a place not far beneath two of the giant figures of Roman 
republican history, Hannibal as a commander and Julius Caesar 
as a personality. His achievements in war proclaim him a military 
genius ; rare gifts of leadership and strategy were supplemented by 
that knowledge of Roman discipline and tactics which he acquired 
in the school of Marius and developed in his Celtiberian and 
Italian campaigns. While comparable with Marius in the training 
of soldiers and Pompey in organization, he possessed, like Caesar, 
the power of rapid and disconcerting movement, the initiative and 
resource that frequently bewildered his opponents by some daring 
stratagem and snatched victory from the jaws of defeat. In the 
Iberian hillmen he found excellent material for training, par- 
ticularly as skirmishing troops, and in the Iberian peninsula a 
terrain admirably adapted to guerrilla warfare. Commanded by 
himself, these men were irresistible in open fighting, and even in 

1 History of Rome* iv, p. 302 $q. 9 followed by Schulten. For a less feyottr- 
able view see H. Berve, Sertorius, in Hermes a JLXIV, 192.9, p. 


close encounters proved themselves worthy antagonists of trained 
Roman legionaries. But the issue of the pitched battles in 76 and 
75 showed that ultimately the strength of Sertorius would be mea- 
sured by that of his subordinate commanders. On the Sucro, for 
example, all his superb ability to rally beaten troops was required 
to compensate for the failures of Perperna. It is true that some of 
the spirit of Sertorius descended upon Hirtuleius, but the results 
of Italica and Segovia showed that even he was no match for the 
experienced Metellus. That his levies remained an effective force 
for so long is a tribute to his personal magnetism, no less than to 
the inspiration of success. While many of his measures proclaim 
his enlightenment and humanity, he could act ruthlessly when it 
was necessary to maintain discipline and morale. 

His biographer has portrayed a personality who commands ad- 
miration and respect. In hardihood, integrity and frugality he is 
true to the type of the yeomen heroes "who won Italy for Rome ; 
and his descent from them seems to speak in those touches of grave 
humour wherewith he soliloquizes over a discomfited antagonist 
or laments a lost opportunity. He stands out among celebrated 
contemporaries as one richly endowed with military genius and 
promise as a statesman, and he was in advance of his age in his 
realization of the duties of Rome to her provincial subjects. It is 
one of the tragedies of history that through the curse of civil war 
his talents were devoted to defeating the armies, rather than pro- 
moting the good government, of his native land. He was bound 
to fail in his venture, and his shameful end places him among 
pathetic figures like the Gracchi, Scipio Aemilianus, the younger 
Drusus. Hunted as a rebel, with a price on his head, he was loyal 
to any Rome except the Rome of Sulla. 


In the absence of the armies and their commanders, politics at 
Rome pursued a comparatively tranquil course. Gaius Caesar 
was able to make a quiet start in public life with two laudable 
undertakings in the courts: in 77 B.C. he prosecuted Gnaeus Dola- 
bella for extortion In Macedonia, and also acted for the plaintiff 
Greeks in a civil suit for recovery against one of Sulla's agents, 
C. Antonius Hybrida, son of the orator and the future colleague of 
Cicero 1 . Next year Cicero, too, was back at work in Rome. But the 

1 For the date of this incident see Sallust, Hist. ed. B. Maurenbrecher, 
Prolegomena, p. 77. 


absorbing interest of this period was the plight of the tribunes. In 
76 B.C. an agitation was started by one Sicinius, himself a holder 
of the office: and though the unbending opposition of the consul, 
C. Curio, frustrated his immediate efforts, to him may belong the 
credit of having moved one of the consuls of 75 B.C. to take a more 
favourable view. 

C. Aurelius Cotta, whose colleague L. Octavius was a man of 
utter insignificance, came of a family among the most interesting 
in Rome. Gaius was the eldest of three brothers, all nephews of 
the estimable P. Rutilius, and was himself a courageous reformer : 
of Marcus, his successor in the consulship, less is known: but 
Lucius, the youngest, is the friend whom Cicero held in high 
esteem. More significant still, Aurelia, the mother of Julius 
Caesar, was a relative probably a first cousin : and we know that 
to his mother Julius owed not a little of his political outlook. These 
Cottae were a family outstanding among the Whig nobility 1 : 
Gaius had been intimate with the younger Livius Drusus and had 
even retired from Rome to escape the attentions of the Varian 
Commission. True, his restoration had been due to Sulla; but in 
the whole oligarchy it would have been hard to find a leader more 
sympathetic to any real grievance. The tribunes still carried on 
their agitation this year through the mouth of Q. Opimius ; but 
all this would have meant nothing without the goodwill of Cotta* 
Despite senatorial reluctance he somehow contrived to pass 
a bill which relieved the tribunes of their disability to hold 
other office. This was an ominous concession: it was the com- 
plete abandonment of Sulla's plan to destroy the tribunate by 
closing it to men of spirit and ambition, and it meant that hence- 
forward, as before the time of Sulla, tribunes would be a power in 
public life. Yet this surrender does not seem to have been wrung 
from the Senate by force : there is no evidence of constraint, and 
the reform must rather be ascribed to the liberal outlook of Cotta 
and to his ability to prevent any successful resistance by the 
extremists on his own side. 

The Senate was not long in repenting. Next year it vented its 
indignation on the luckless Opimius ; and Cotta himself, unless our 
evidence is deceptive, soon came to regret his action. Another 
of his measures an enactment of unknown content de iudiciis 
privatis was repealed in the following year; but, when Cicero 
records 2 that the consul of 75 B.C. himself made a proposal in the 
Senate for the abrogation of his laws, it is only possible to justify 
the plural by the assumption that Cotta had changed his mind on 

1 See Sallust, Hist, in, 48, 8 M, 2 See Asconius, p. 66 c. 


the expediency of his lex de iure tribunorum. Whatever be the truth 
about this, the act remained in force and produced Its natural re- 
sult: now that young politicians might hold the office without 
detriment to their careers, they demanded more insistently than 
ever that all its old powers should be restored. In 74 B.C. the 
agitation was continued by another tribune, L. Quinctius, and in 
the year after by the historian C. Licinius Macer : but Quinctius 
was somehow reduced to silence by L. Lucullus 1 , and the only 
point of interest in the activities of Macer, if the speech put Into 
his mouth by Sallust 2 in any way expresses his real views, is his 
frank recognition that contemporary politics were a farce and that 
the issues of the day would be decided by Pompey on his return 
from Spain, 

For five years now the tribunes and their friends had struggled 
with adversity, but the fruits of persistence scarcely gave cause 
for pride. The only progress made towards the emancipation of 
the office was due more to the charity of C. Cotta than to any 
efforts of their own. It is true that the needs of the masses had 
not been completely ignored* The scarcity and high price of corn 
had come near to provoking a riot in 75 B.c, 3 , and two years later 
a consular law was introduced which did something to relieve the 
shortage. The Lex Terentia Cassia, which took its name from 
M. Lucullus and C. Cassius Longinus, sought to accelerate the 
flow of Sicilian corn to Rome and at the same time authorized the 
distribution of five modii a month' & prison ration 4 to a body of 
recipients who probably did not exceed 4O,ooo 5 , apparently at the 
old Gracchan price of 6^ asses a modius^. Likewise it presumably 
gave some general satisfaction when Cn. Lentulus Clodianus, a 
consul of 72 B.C., introduced a bill to cancel Sulla's remission of 
payment to those who had bought property set free by the con- 
fiscations 7 . The measure, in the end, did not become law, but effect 
seems to have been given to its intentions by several decrees of the 
Senate passed soon afterwards 8 . 

Even this step, however, was taken less to satisfy the popular 
resentment against Sulla's creatures than through the compelling 
necessity of a financial crisis. Already in 75 B.C. the drain of wars 

1 Plutarch, Lucullus., 5, 4, 2 Sallust, Hist, in, 48,, 2, 13 M. 

3 Ib. n* 45 M. 4 Ib. in, 48, 19 M. 

5 Cicero, n in Perr* in, 30, 72: see M, Rostowzew in P+W s.v 
Frumentum, coL 174^ 

6 Asconius, p t 8 c f , where it is to be observed that SPM agree in reading 
*sems'; cf. Cicero, pro Sestzo, 25, 55. 

7 Sallust, Hist, iv, i MS and, for the date, iL Prolegomena, p. 79, 

8 Cicero, 11 in /^irr.-Hi, 35, 81. 


In Asia, Macedonia and Spain to which by now the campaigns 
against Spartacus must be added had threatened the Treasury 
with bankruptcy 1 , and the clamant demands of the generals, 
especially Pompey, were only met with difficulty (p, 324). The 
plain fact was that in the years from 78 to 71 B.C., when its enemies 
still lacked the backing of a successful general, the Sullan con- 
stitution on the whole stood firm : a foolish concession to the tri- 
bunate had been made through the influence of C, Cotta, and the 
fate of the Senate had already been sealed by the appointment of 
Pompey to his Spanish command. But the failure of the tribunes 
to recover their pristine powers is not to be denied, and the solid 
resistance which the government could oppose to their attack 
serves to emphasize the folly of the weakness which had allowed 
Pompey to build up a military power in Spain. 


In 73 B.C. attention was diverted from the struggles of the 
Forum to an outbreak of domestic war in Italy 2 . Servile discontent 
had long been a familiar menace, but on this occasion the lead was 
taken by a type which, though peculiarly dangerous, had not been 
in the forefront of earlier revolts. Seventy-four gladiators in an 
establishment at Capua suddenly broke loose and, seizing such 
weapons as they could find, retired to the summit of Vesuvius. 
Thence they defied authority and rallied recruits at an alarming 
speed. Whereas the Servile Wars in Sicily had been waged by 
slaves of Asiatic origin, the Italian rising was mainly the work of 
Europeans. Gauls and Thracians formed the backbone of the 
rebel forces, with an admixture of captives from the Teutonic in- 
vasions. Leadership was supplied by the Thracian Spartacus, who 
in earlier days had seen service with the Roman armies, and by 
two Gauls, Crixus and Oendmaus. The efforts of the government 
to circumscribe the trouble met with no success. Operations be- 
gan with an attempt by C. Claudius Glaber, a praetor of 73 B.C., 
to surround the rebels on Vesuvius, and ended, after an unbroken 
series of defeats, by leaving them masters of all southern Italy. 
Recruits now flowed in more rapidly than ever, and in the course 
of the winter so large a force collected that, when the new cam- 
paign began, Spartacus and Crixus were each at the head of an 
independent army. But, unlike the leaders of the Sicilian revolts, 
they lacked a consistent plan. The far-seeing Spartacus had no 

1 Sallust, Hist, ii, 47, 67 M. 

2 On the outbreak of the Third Mithridatic War in 74 B.a see below* 
p. 358^. 


illusions about the danger of their plight. Italy would not fall 
permanently under the control of a band of slaves; and, if not s it 
was his business to lead his men out of the peninsula while time 
remained. Once across the Alps they might perhaps scatter to 
their homes with some hope of safety. Crixus, however, unable 
to tear himself away from the plunder of the south, condemned his 
following to an aimless policy of brigandage foredoomed to failure. 
In 72 B.C, the Senate took energetic action. The two consuls 
L. Gellius Publicola and Cn. Lentulus Clodianus were each 
given armies to concentrate on the menace of the slaves. But 
though Gellius, or one of his lieutenants, ran down the wilful 
Crixus near Monte Gargano and destroyed him with all his force, 
the two together could make no impression on the more cautious 
Spartacus. In accordance with his considered scheme to break out 
of Italy across the Alps, Spartacus was moving northwards, with 
Gellius on his heels and Lentulus seeking to intercept him from 
the front 1 . Somewhere in Picenum two battles were fought in 
quick succession : first Lentulus and then his colleague were de- 
feated so decisively that the Senate saw fit to supersede them both. 
Meanwhile Spartacus pressed on to the north, and at Mutina he 
opened the way to the mountains by routing an army under C. 
Cassius, proconsul of Cisalpine Gaul. But then came a fatal change 
of mind. It was doubtless easier for the army as a whole to escape 
from Italy than for the various contingents to make their ways 
home from the frontier through territory largely under Roman 
occupation. Whatever the reason, the day of parting never 
dawned : instead, the host turned again towards Italy, and it was 
probably at this time, if at all, that Spartacus toyed with the idea 
of an attack on Rome itself 2 . So rash a project deserved no 
consideration, but much might be said in favour of an attempt to 
seize Sicily for the rebel cause for among the slaves of Sicily the 
rebels could count on whole-hearted support. This was the object 
with which Spartacus retraced his steps, making back to his old 
haunts among the Bruttii. 

In place of the discredited consuls the Senate chose as its new 
commander in the field M, Licinius Crassus, now praetor, 
Crassus was a man by no means susceptible to the glory of facing 
fearful odds : to the remnants of the four legions of the consuls, 

1 The problems of the later phases of the war against Spartacus are dis- 
cussed by T. Rice Holmes in The Roman Republic, i, pp. 386-90. 

2 ^This incident is dated thus by Florus ir, 8 (in, 20), H 5 and more 
credibly than by Appian (EelL Civ. i, 1 1 7, 545), who puts it immediately after 
the victories over the two consuls. 


which losses had perhaps reduced to the equivalent of two 1 , he 
added six more, and with this imposing host he set out to prevent 
Spartacus from reaching the Straits. Before long one of his sub- 
ordinates sustained a slight reverse, which Crassus used as an ex- 
cuse for decimating an unsteady cohort with the most beneficent 
results to the morale of the remainder. Then followed various en- 
gagements, the result of which was to drive Spartacus to Rhegium, 
whence his attempts to cross to Sicily were frustrated, to some ex- 
tent through the exertions of Verres. At this juncture Crassus set 
his hand to a scheme which, if it does little credit to his intelligence, 
at least reveals the dimensions of his army. He began to build a 
wall, thirty-seven miles long, right across the toe of Italy, hoping 
thereby to confine the rebels to a region wherein starvation would 
reduce them to surrender. But, though the mountains of the 
neighbourhood gave generous aid to the defence, not even the 
army of Crassus could hope to hold all vulnerable parts of the 
line in strength enough to resist the onslaught of the rebels 
if Spartacus concentrated his whole force on a single sector. 
When the rebels tried to break out, they did so without much 

Open warfare was now resumed, and its resumption, or the 
prospect of it, seems to have prompted a move at Rome which 
spurred Crassus to more feverish efforts. As the result of an 
agitation, in which it may be safely conjectured that the masses 
played a more active part than the Senate 2 , Pompey, who had just 
returned from Spain, was commissioned to take his army south 
and co-operate with Crassus. It had been the intention of Spar- 
tacus, after the failure of his Sicilian plan, to escape from Italy by 
way of Brundisium, but retreat in that direction was suddenly 
blocked by the arrival of M. Lucullus with his victorious army 
from the Black Sea (see below, p. 357 sy^ Thus the only way left 
open to the rebels was the northern route which they had followed 
the year before, and this the forces of the government made it their 
business to close. The position of Spartacus was dangerous; and 
its dangers were increased by new dissensions among his friends. 
Two Gauls, Castus and Cannicus, formed a following of their own ; 
and, when they took to independent action in the style of Crixus, 
Spartacus and the main body found themselves occupied more in 
saving the discontents from the results of their folly than in their 
proper business of defeating Crassus. At length, after various en- 

1 This is conceivably the meaning of the source behind Appian, 
Ci<u. i 3 1 1 8, 549. 

2 This is the plausible suggestion of Appian (BelL Civ. I, 119* 554) 


gagements, Castus and Cannicus were destroyed in a battle fought 
among the mountains between Paestum and Venusia, whereby 
the back of the revolt was broken. Spartacus retreated southwards 
for a time, but a slight success is said to have encouraged his men 
to insist on another general engagement. Then at length, before 
Pompey had time to arrive, the last army of the rebels was routed 
and the war was over. Nothing remained but to round up the 
fugitives an easy task in which Pompey thrust his unwelcome 
help on the reluctant Crassus. The work was quickly done: six 
months after his appointment Crassus had the satisfaction of 
staging the final scene, wherein six thousand prisoners were 
revealed crucified along the Appian Way from Capua to Rome. 

Like Eunus and Salvius, Spartacus is a tragic figure, but the 
significance of his career is small. So far as his own achievements 
went, he did nothing more than repeat in Italy the warning which 
twice already had been given across the Straits. True, the devasta- 
tion of the South was severe, and enough of the lesson was re- 
membered to prevent the recurrence of gladiatorial outbreaks on 
anything like this scale again. But the most notable legacy of the 
affair was its results on Pompey and Crassus. Crassus was left 
with a belief, by no means without foundation, in his own gifts as 
a military commander and with a deep-seated dislike of Pompey 
which, though Crassus was not a man of bitter disposition, always 
stood in the way of their effective co-operation. Pompey, indeed, 
had played the cad to gratify his invincible conceit; for, though 
his Spanish campaigns had earned him undisputed laurels whose 
glory far outshone the most that could be won in a servile war, he 
resolutely set himself to scrape a further meed of praise by pre- 
tending that the credit for the end of the Italian rising belonged 
as much to him as to his colleague. Crassus did not openly 
protest; but the bad feeling thus implanted lasted till his death 
and was a ponderable factor in Roman politics. 



The two marshals now advanced on Rome, where the Senate 
was even more defenceless than in 77 B.C. L. LucuJlus, the most 
experienced of the generals on whom it could depend, was irre- 
vocably detained by the command in Asia which had cost him such 
efforts to obtain (p. 359). M. Antonius was already dead, and 
would have been useless had he been alive. Metellus Pius, who 
Iiad not yet arrived from Spain, was no match for a Pompey in the 
field, nor was he the sort of man to fight his way through the 


rough-and-tumble of a crisis ; it was typical of his unfailing respect 
for the law that, when at length he did return, he broke up his 
army as soon as it had crossed the Alps. Besides these a few 
others could be named, but there was only one man in Italy who 
might have struck a blow for the Senate M. Lucullus, lately 
back from his campaign in the Dobrudja. The odds, however, 
against him were long : he made no move on his own account, nor 
was he invited, and so without resistance the Senate went meekly 
to the sacrifice. 

Crassus, praetor in 72 B.C., was due in the normal course to 
hold a consulship in 70, and nothing debarred him from becoming 
a candidate; but with his rival the case was different. There was 
no sort of doubt that, if Crassus was to be consul the following 
year, Pompey would insist on being his colleague. But, under the 
Sullan lex annalis^ there were two fatal obstacles to his considera- 
tion : he was still six years below the minimum age required for 
the office, and he had never held the necessary preliminaries the 
quaestorship and praetorship. Nevertheless, with suave assur- 
ances that it was all due to the delay in the return of Metellus Pius 
and that, as soon as they had celebrated their triumphs together, 
the armies would be disbanded, Pompey sat with his legions at 
the gates of Rome. And not only so : by announcing that he would 
support the removal of all trammels from the tribunicia potestas he 
won the frenzied enthusiasm of the masses. Such were the cir- 
cumstances in which the Senate began to discover that the 
obstacles in the way of his election were not insuperable. 

The triumph itself had still to be voted ; but this was duly done, 
and before long the Senate had dispensed him from the laws by 
which at present he was disqualified for the consulship* Herein 
the latent power of the legions was decisive. The negotiations 
between Pompey and the Senate were conducted, indeed, with evefy 
appearance of politeness ; but the Senate was not a free agent, and 
there is no doubt that, had it attempted to refuse the dangerous and 
illegal demands of the man whose professed object was to expose 
it once more to the attacks of a tribunate freed from all restraint, 
the legions would have entered Rome. There is, of course, no need 
to deny that the tribunate had its value for the Senate, as for the 
Senate's enemies (pp. 26 J^., 315); but it was not for the sake of any 
advantage it would bring the oligarchs that the rabble clamoured 
for this measure and Pompey gave it his benediction. By yielding 
to his claims to a consulship, the Senate put itself in the hands of 
one who did not conceal his hostility, and an enemy was left fre 
to work his will on a constitutional system which, skilfully ,&& It 


had been constructed by Sulla, could never remain intact without 
constant and energetic defence. Nevertheless, the Senate can 
scarcely be blamed for its action. Now, it was at the mercy of the 
Spanish army: the irreparable damage had been done six years 
before, when Pompey was given his command. 

When his own troubles had been overcome, Pompey had still 
to face the question of a colleague, but this was made easy by the 
presence of Crassus, There was, indeed, every reason to indulge 
his legitimate aspirations ; for Crassus commanded the respect of 
that powerful financial class to which, much as it engaged his 
sympathy, Pompey himself did not belong. So the appreciative 
plutocrat, after the honour of personal support from Pompey in 
his canvass, found himself elected to the consulship for what was 
to be the most memorable year in Roman history since the death 
of Sulla. 

Before any consideration of its legislative achievement, some- 
thing must be said about the general political situation when 
Pompey and Crassus took office on i January 70 B.C. The Sullan 
constitution had already failed. In its more controversial aspects 
that system had been designed to attain two ends to give the 
Senate effective control over the military commanders and to free 
public life from the disturbing activities of the tribunes. The 
former of these was the more essential, as well as the more dif- 
ficult, to secure ; but all the plans drawn by Sulla towards this end had 
already been torn to shreds. The appointment of Pompey to Spain 
in 77 B.C. and his election to the consulship in 71 were incidents 
precisely of the kind which Sulla had sought to make impossible : 
when they occurred, the failure of Sulla's safeguards was revealed, 
and on this side at least no legislation was needed to overthrow 
the Sullan constitution, because that edifice already lay in ruins. 
With the tribunate the case was little different. Sulla's attempt to 
destroy the office had been frustrated by the Lex Aurelia of 75 B.C. 
By the passage of that measure able men were again invited to 
become tribunes, as they had done before Sulla's time; and once 
such men were allowed back in the office, it was only an inevitable 
consequence of their return that its powers should be restored 
to all their old dimensions. 

On atiother matter, however, something was left to the free 
initiative of the consuls. The degradation of the Gracchan indices 
had justified Sulla's recruitment of the juries from the Senate; but 
by now the senatorial jurors had shown themselves to be as corrupt 
as their predecessors, and the administration of criminal justice 
was calling again for reform. For several years scandals had been 


piling up. The acquittal of Cn, Dolabella in 77 B*c. did nothing to 
increase public confidence in the courts, and in 74 there had fol- 
lowed the outrageous case of the elder Oppianicus. Whether that 
individual was guilty of an attempt to poison his step-son Cluentius 
or not, nobody seriously denied that the trial had been disfigured 
by unblushing bribery bribery so blatant that it immediately 
became the theme of political controversy 1 . Under the assiduous 
care of the tribune Quinctius 2 the affair was turned into pro- 
ductive capital by the enemies of the Senate, and thenceforward the 
composition of the juries was once more a foremost issue of the 
day. Three years later definite proposals were in the air ; IVL Lollius 
Palicanus, tribune of 71, is said to have urged that jurors should 
be drawn from three orders senators, equites Romani and tribuni 
aerarii** And, more important still, at the same time came an 
assurance that action would follow words. Pompey, a true popu- 
laris in his demand for efficiency, knew that the government of 
the provinces was corrupt and that it could not be purged until 
honest courts sat again in Rome. In a speech delivered soon after 
his election to the consulship he dwelt on this abuse and, when he 
announced his intention to tackle it himself, the loud applause 
showed that he had widespread support 4 . 

The significance of this must not be overlooked. There is no 
reason to believe that men like Pompey and Crassus were deeply 
stirred by the troubles of the tribunate; the restoration of its 
powers was a bone flung to certain sections of the rabble whose 
goodwill might be of use. But the constitution of the criminal 
courts was a very different matter. Pompey undoubtedly had 
ideals of administration which for his day were high, and a man 
with the connections of a Crassus could not fail to stand for a 
return to the Gracchan indices. Thus both consuls had an interest In 
this question of the courts, and it may not be far from the truth to 
say that this was the issue for which they chiefly cared. Q. Catulus 
at least a responsible person, soon to be Princeps Senatus went 
so far as to assert that, if only honesty were established in the 
courts, the grievance about the tribunate would die down 5 ; and 
Cicero himself regarded the flagrant corruption of the juries as the 
foundation of the whole case against the senatorial government 6 * 

When the new year began, the consuls set to work forthwith, 
each in his own fashion. WTiile Crassus regaled the populace with 

1 The extent of the abuse at this time can be gathered from Cicero, 

I in Ferr. 13, 389. 2 Cicero, pro Cluentio^ 28, 77 and 29, 79. 

3 Schol. Gronov. B, ap. Stangl 11, p. 328. ** Cicero, I in Ferr. lj> 45. 

5 Cicero, i in Ferr. 1 5, 44. 6 Div. in Caec. 3^ 


Gargantuan entertainment, Pompey carried a law to satisfy the 
tribunician agitators. The tribunes had now recovered everything 
of which they had been deprived by Sulla; the last had been heard 
of a tiresome grievance ; and the way was open for fresh experi- 
ments in ochlocracy. But the reform of the judicature was a more 
difficult, as well as a more important, task. A preliminary measure 
was the revival of the censorship, to which the consuls of 73 
M. Lucullus and Cn. Lentulus Clodianus were appointed. 
According to Cicero^ hopes were entertained that censors would 
be able in some degree to raise the standard of honesty in the ad- 
ministration of justice; and It was at least beyond dispute that, so 
long as any jurors were drawn from the Senate, the censors could 
see that no man remained eligible who was notoriously unworthy 
of his place. Doubtless the courts were none the worse for the loss 
of the sixty-four senators ejected on this occasion. But by now 
public opinion seems to have been roused to a pitch of resentment 
not likely to be content with a remedy which depended on an 
office so arbitrary in its working as the censorship ; and, moreover, 
the censors could do next to nothing to gratify the yearnings 
of the business interests for a place in the courts* 

The enemies of the Senate were determined : their cause was 
good, and the opportunity bid fair. To popular indignation at the 
scandals of the past was added widespread alarm at the state of 
provincial administration* It was in January of 70 B.C. that C. 
Verres returned to Rome from Sicily after a three years* governor- 
ship in which rapacity had cast all concealment aside. Scarcely had 
he arrived when there appeared embassies from every State in the 
island save Syracuse and Messana, all clamouring for his indict- 
ment on a charge of extortion. But, though the loudness of these 
demands could leave little doubt that the grievances were not 
wholly Imaginary, Verres had powerful friends. The orator 
Hortensius, destined for a consulship next year, was his most 
doughty champion, and behind Hortensius stood other leading 
members of the aristocracy. There was P. Cornelius Scipio, later 
adopted by Metellus Pius and subsequently father-in-law of 
Pompey himself : there were no less than three Metelll, all brothers 
and probably the sons of Metellus Caprarius. These brethren were 
valuable allies. One of them, Quintus later sur named Creticus, 
was to be colleague of Hortensius as consul in 69 B.C.: another, 
Marcus, as praetor in the same year obtained the presidency of the 
indicium -pulblicum for the crime on which Verres was arraigned : and 
the third brother, Lucius, was his successor as proconsul of Sicily. 

. In Gaec* 3, 8 


Against this formidable array the Sicilian cause was led not, 
indeed, until at the cost of some delay he had brushed aside a dis- 
honest rival acting in collusion with the defence by Cicero, who 
was now the outstanding figure of the younger generation at the 
Roman Bar and who had won the goodwill of the provincials by 
the honesty of his conduct as quaestor at Lilybaeum in 75* B.C. 
Under the wily guidance of Hortensius the defence had recourse 
to subterfuges of impressive ingenuity, aimed above all at securing 
a postponement of the trial till the following year, when some of 
Verres* firmest friends would be in office ; but all their tricks were 
confounded by Cicero's resource, and in August the case came on. 
In face of the overwhelming evidence Hortensius virtually aban- 
doned his brief; Verres retired to exile; and the Sicilians had won. 
For Cicero the result was triumphant. In the courts henceforward 
he was admittedly supreme, a pleader to whom Hortensius him- 
self must yield place 1 ; and in the world of politics he became a 
power. Without delay he followed up his success. By publishing, 
in the form of five set speeches, the whole material collected by the 
prosecution he damningly impeached not only the character of his 
victim but the outrageous abuses in the provinces made possible 
by the lack of central control over the agents of the government 
abroad. The career of Verres was another reason why the quaestio 
refietundarum should be placed above reproach. 

Adequate reform through the censorship alone was an idle 
dream : Cato himself could not have removed from the Senate men 
like Hortensius and the other friends of Verres. For the revival of 
the office by Pompey and Crassus some other reason may well 
be sought; and, though the connection of the censors with the 
juries will soon appear, a secondary reason is not difficult to sug- 
gest. In the Imperial age, when the equestrian order began to 
produce able administrators whose service was desired in posts 
customarily reserved for senators, the Emperors made use with 
increasing frequency of the ius adlectionis^ whereby men of mature 
years could be enrolled in the Senate with the status appropriate 
to their age. This right was a feature of the censoria pote$tas y and 
the purpose it served was one near to the hearts of men who, like 
Pompey, contended for the opening of the public career to merit 
in whatever ranks of society it was found. Had censors been 
regularly appointed, it is scarcely probable that Pompey would 
have remained outside the Senate until he entered it as consul 
a consul so completely unfamiliar with the House that he was 
constrained to persuade his friend M. Varro to write a handbook 
1 Cicero, Brutus, 93, 319-94* 3 2 3* 

C.A.H. IX 22 


of procedure for his guidance 1 . The censorship, in fact, had two 
kinds of use in this connection : besides purging the Senate of 
undesirables^ it could admit the forceful genius whose progress 
Sulla had essayed to baulk. It opened a way round the odious lex 
annalis^ and it may be surmised that this was a consideration which 
weighed with Pompey when he consented to its renewal. 

Positive proposals for a re-constitution of the courts were left 
to a praetor, L. Aurelius Cotta a younger brother of the consul 
of 75 B.C. The drafting of a bill seems to have taken time; for 5 
when the prosecution of Verres began on 5 August, the Sullan 
arrangements were still in force. Whatever the stages by which the 
final scheme was reached, details of the negotiations are lost be- 
yond recall. All we know is the outline of the measure which in 
the end became law, and even here there are exasperating gaps in 
our information 2 . Henceforward the juries in the indicia fublica 
were to be composed in equal parts of senators, equites Romani and 
tribuni aerariL So much at least is clear: but about the definition 
of the two latter classes no certainty can be attained. It may be 
said at once that, for reasons suggested elsewhere (p. 895), there is 
no necessity to assume that the * equites Romani 7 of the Lex Aurelia 
were defined by the formula wherein the positive qualifications of 
the Gracchan indices had been set forth. Admittedly it is con- 
ceivable that the relevant form of words was taken without change 
from the Lex Acilia; but there is nothing to prove that this was 
so. Indeed, probability is somewhat against the suggestion ; for 
Gracchan indices had disgraced themselves in the case of Rutilius 
no less signally than senators had done in more recent years, and 
it is not easy to see how any great improvement could be expected 
from a scheme which divided the majority of the places on every 
jury among two classes both of which had already proved unfit. 

The appearance of the tribuni aerarii in connection with the 
courts as constituted by the Lex Aurelia 3 may be thought to 
imply that in the law they were named as such ; for it is hard to be- 
lieve that so obscure a title would have cortie into the tale at all 
if, as is often supposed, its only relevance lay in the fact that the 
monetary qualification alleged to have been required of candidates 

1 Genius* N*J$. xiv, 7, 2. 

2 In Rmdiconti, Serie v, vol. XXXIL, 1923, p. 84, it was announced that on 
20 May 1923 V, Scialoja communicated to the Lincei two bronze fragments 
bearing parts of a lex iudldaria either to be identified with the Lex Aurelia 
or to "be closely related thereto: but the texts, published in Studi Bonfante, 
vol. i (Milan, 1930), pp. 3 sqq. 3 throw no light on the provisions of the 
Lex Aurelia. 

s The most important evidence is that of Asconius, p. 170. 


for a place on the third panel happened to be the same as that of 
these unfamiliar officials. The original functions of these tribunes 
is largely a matter of conjecture; but whether they were the heads 
of the tribes, as Mommsen supposed 1 , or not, the explicit evidence 
of Varro 2 records that it was they who at one time acted as pay- 
masters of the troops a duty which may reasonably be supposed 
to have been reserved for men of substance and good repute. By 
the last century of the Republic the office seems to have become 
a sinecure. Its financial duties had been usurped by the quaestor- 
ship, and any general supervision of tribal business which it may 
once have exercised had apparently passed to the curatores tribuum 3 . 
Nevertheless, it is probable that tribuni aerarii continued to be 
appointed : during the Ciceronian age they appear more than once 
as an ordo in the State, in contexts without special reference to their 
judicial privileges under the Lex Aurelia 4 . The property qualifica- 
tion required in holders of the office is unknown, though there is 
some suggestion that it was HS 300,000 5 , and by a still more 
unfortunate failure of our authorities we are without any effective 
evidence for their numbers or for the length of their continuance 
in office. 

If the tribuni aerarii were mentioned by that name in the Lex 
Aurelia, probability would strongly favour the view that the 
equites Romani were likewise defined as such. The law did not 
content itself with requiring a minimum amount of property, but 
insisted that jurors should have held certain positions in public 
life : one class must have occupied the office of tribunus aerarius y 
the other must have been equites iti some fuller sense than that of 
merely owning as much property as was demanded of candidates 
for the equus publicm. This conclusion that the second and third 
panels of the Lex Aurelia were more than mere property-classes 
is supported, though not finally proved, by a passage in which 
Asconius 6 describes a modification of the Lex Aurelia proposed 
by Pompey in 55 B.C.: as before, jurors were to be chosen""" from 
the three ordines of senators, equites and tribuni aerarii^ but hence- 
forward in each case a higher census was to be required. Thus it 
is possible to conclude that the third panel was recruited from 
those who not only had more than a stated minimum of property 
but also held the office of tribunus aerarius^ the second from those 
who, besides attaining a somewhat higher assessment, were equites 

1 Staatsrecht, in, p. 189. 2 L.L, 5, 181; cf, Festus, p, 2 L. 

3 See Mommsen, op. cit. in, pp, 190 sq 

4 Cicero, pro Rab. perd* reo y 9, 27; in Cat. IF, 7, 15; pro Plancto* 8, 21. 

5 SchoL Bob. ap. Stangl, n, p. 91 ; Suet. Jug. 32, 3. - ** P. 17 a 


Romani in some fuller sense presumably because they held the 
equuspublicus. It only remains to add that, since the Roman knights 
apparently surrendered the public horse before they reached the 
age of forty 1 , considerations of age and numbers virtually demand 
the supposition that for purposes of jury-service * knights ' meant 
holders of the public horse past as well as present. If that be true, 
it may be conjectured that the term tribuni aerarii included those 
who had held this office besides those who retained it at the 
moment 2 . 

If what is said below about the Lex Acilia is not mistaken 
(pp. 892^.) and if such an account of the Lex Aurelia is not 
completely wrong, the aim of Cotta becomes clear. The attempt 
of Gaius Gracchus to recruit his juries from the whole population 
outside the Senate which owned more than a certain fixed amount 
of wealth had ended in the scandal of Rutilius. Senatorial juries, 
in the days when Sulla had freed the Senate from censorial con- 
trol, had proved no better. But now, while the business men were 
granted their demand for re-admission to the indicia^ opportunity 
was taken to arrange that the panels should be formed from classes 
which were regularly under the supervision of the censors. It was 
the duty of these officers to exclude all persons of bad character 
from the Senate : it was they who bestowed the equus -publicus^ for 
which evil living was a bar : and it may be assumed that men like 
the tribuni aerarii^ whose business was to handle money, were not 
wholly exempt from investigations of their integrity. There is, in 
fact, a possibility after all that the revival of the censorship and the 
passing of the Lex Aurelia Cottae fell in the same year by some- 
thing more than a coincidence. 

One more point, and the judiciary reform may be left. The re- 
cruitment of the juries from three separate panels has led many 
historians to describe the Lex Aurelia as a compromise. A com- 
promise it was, in a certain sense. If the issue lay between the 
claims of senators and those of wealthy men outside the House, 
both parties to the quarrel still found themselves represented in 
the courts. But it would have been strange if a measure passed 
under the aegis of Pompey and Crassus had shown strict im- 
partiality, and, as might be expected, the Lex Aurelia marks a 

1 Plutarch, Pomp. 22, 5-6. C Suet. jfug. 38, 3 and Mommsen, 
Staatsrecht, in, p. 261, n. 

2 The evidence for this difficult question is set out and discussed by J. L, 
Strachan-Davidson in Problems of the Roman Criminal Law y n, pp. 8495, 
and byT, Rice Holmes in The Roman Republic, i, pp. 3915: their conclu- 
sions, however, are not the same as those of the present writer. 


definite victory for the business interests. For the practical pur- 
poses of daily life tribuni aerarii were indistinguishable from 
equites\ the Scholiast of Bobbio 1 calls them 'men of the same order * 
and Cicero 2 addresses the non-senatorial members of a jury col- 
lectively as *equites Romani/ Thus, so far as its political aspect 
was concerned, the Lex Aurelia left the Senate with only half as 
many places on the juries as its rivals, and no doubt was possible 
about the side which emerged victorious. Nevertheless, the measure 
was not unworthy of its author. Commercial interests had their 
representatives in the courts: the Senate, though its monopoly 
was gone, still could not raise a real grievance: and juries hence- 
forward were to consist of men who all at different times had won 
the chary approval of the censors, 

With the reform of the criminal courts the legislation of 70 B.C. 
was complete. What fired the imagination of the masses was the 
tribunes* recovery of their old prerogatives; but neither this, nor 
the revival of the censorship, nor Cotta's honest effort to grapple 
once more with the recurrent problem of the courts could claim 
significance comparable with that of the consuls themselves. Their 
election, due as it was to the compelling presence of their troops, 
had proclaimed the failure of Sulla's scheme to banish the army 
from politics. Once again the devotion of the legions had become 
the key to office, and Rome had now resumed her inevitable 
journey on the road to civil 'war. 


Ominous as their consulships might be, the government of 
Pompey and Crassus had been the mildest yoke. At the time of 
the elections, though it would have been easy for them to insist 
on the appointment of their own nominees, they refrained from 
the obvious attempt to establish an enduring hold on affairs and 
were content to acquiesce, apparently without resistance, in the 
choice of successors who stood for the Sullan ideal Q. Hortensius, 
the orator, and Q. Metellus (afterwards surnamed Creticus). The 
same thing happened again with the consulships of 68 B.C., which 
went to L. Metellus, the governor of Sicily after Verres, and 
Q. Marcius Rex both of whom were apparently of the optimate 
persuasion. For the moment the Senate seemed to have regained 
control. Pompey and Crassus, their armies at length disbanded, 
were in retirement, and during the years 69 and 68 B.c, public life 

1 Stangl, ii, p, 94* 2 pro Flacco, 2, 4, pro Rab* Post. 6, 14. 


in Rome pursued a placid course. Such was the tranquillity that 
men had time to notice an incident of the most trivial kind. Some- 
time in 69 or 68 B.C., shortly before he left Rome to serve his 
quaestorship in Further Spain, the young Julius Caesar lost two 
of his female relatives. One was his wife Cornelia, the daughter 
of Cinna, whom he had refused to divorce at Sulla's behest; the 
other, his aunt Julia, widow of C. Marius. At the obsequies it was 
observed with interest that the family connection with Marius was 
stressed: Caesar's adherence to thepopu/ares was to be put beyond 
all doubt. Moreover, in the laudatio of his aunt, he took care to 
recall that her lineage and his own claimed origins which on 
one side were royal, on the other divine. In later days this passage 
was remembered 1 . When he piled one dictatorship on another, 
and finally became dictator for life, men might be pardoned 
for wondering whether even at this early stage the young Julius 
had conceived monarchy to be Rome's only hope and had begun 
to consider himself as a candidate for the throne. 

Though the consulships of 67 B.C. again were won by two 
sound conservatives C. Calpurnius Piso and M'. Acilius Glabrio 
there were signs that the Senate's grip was weakening. The 
consuls had only been elected after flagrant bribery, and, worse 
still, for the first time since the dictatorship of Sulla the tribunician 
college contained two pofulares of unbounded energy and deter- 
mination. C. Cornelius and A. Gabinius were an ill-assorted pair. 
Of Cornelius, who had been a quaestor of Pompey, nothing but 
good is known, but the character of his colleague, though personal 
spite explains much of Cicero's later indignation, must have done 
something to invite the venomous attacks which only ended with 
his exile. Yet, different as their private lives may have been, in 
public these two carried a series of reforms which have often 
missed their proper meed of praise. The merits of their achieve- 
ment must not be ignored merely because, unlike the younger 
Gracchus, they were content with a modest programme which 
might reasonably be enacted within the limits of a single year. 

Whether by conscious arrangement or not, the work was so 
divided that, while Gabinius had charge of measures affecting pro- 
vincial interests, Cornelius took over those which more directly 
concerned the government at home. The exact sequence of events 
is variously recorded, but in this case chronological precision is 
fortunately of small importance for their interpretation. 

The two main proposals of Cornelius are both aimed at abuses 
which chance to be connected with the name of the consul Piso. 

1 Suet. Div. lul 6, i. 


First and foremost came a measure described by Mommsen 3 per- 
haps with some exaggeration^ as 'a regulation which may well be 
compared with the law of the Twelve Tables, and which became 
almost as significant for the fixing of the later urban law as that 
collection for the fixing of the earlier 1 ' the Lex Cornelia c ut 
praetores ex edictis suis perpetuis ius dicant/ In the Roman world 
so large an area of the legal field was covered, not by statutes, but 
by the common law and equity embodied in the edicts of the praetor 
urbanus and of provincial governors (pp. 863 3qq^ that, in the 
absence of an assurance that judicial officers would rigidly adhere 
to the principles which their edicts set out ? there was the gravest 
danger of litigants finding their acts judged, not by the provisions 
contained in the edict at the time when those acts were committed 3 
but by some different rules enunciated later. The objections to 
such a practice are plain: whenever it occurred, it involved one 
of the most dangerous abuses retrospective legislation. Though 
corruption cannot be detected in the case wherein Piso himself 
appears 2 , and though it is perhaps less certain than Mommsen 
would imply that the administration of the urban praetors gave 
ground for criticism, there is evidence enough to show that ? in the 
provinces at least, dishonest magistrates had been ignoring their 
edicts to gratify such parties in the courts as would make it worth 
their while 3 . This scandal Cornelius set himself to stop, and, by 
a reform which may well be among the beneficent consequences 
of Cicero's attack on Verres, he ordained that for the future it 
should be an offence for magistrates to administer justice other- 
wise than in accordance with the rules they had published on 
entering office. Henceforward^ as Mommsen observes, *tJie edict 
was ho longer subordinate to the judge, but the judge was by law 
subject to the edict/ The importance of the measure depends on 
the extent of the abuse; but if such malpractices were of more than 
the rarest occurrence, the Lex Cornelia may justly be claimed as 
one of the foundations of the rule of law throughout the empire. 

The other proposal of Cornelius was directed against bribery 
at elections a problem raised afresh by the methods employed 
to win office for the consuls of the year. His bill was one of great 

1 History of Rome, v, p. 434^. 2 VaL Max. vir, 7, 5. 

3 C Cicero, re in Verr. i, 46, 119. Cicero himself was once exposed to 
the temptation against which Cornelius sought to guard (ad jftt. v, 21, 1 1 ; 
vr, 1,5). The precise relation hitherto conceived to exist between the urban 
praetor and his edict is a matter of dispute. The evidence is acutely discussed 
by H. Levy-Bruhl in La denegatio actionis sous la procedure formulaire a 
book of which it must be admitted that the doctrine has so far failed to 
general acceptance among civilians. 


severity, designed not only to increase the penalties incurred by 
the principals who supplied the money but also to extend the 
threat of prosecution to the divisores who distributed it among the 
voters. Its severity, indeed, was so great as to provide the Senate 
with grounds for opposition. Alleging that such an enactment 
would defeat itself by deterring both prosecutors and juries from 
applying so rigorous a law, the Fathers instructed Piso himself to 
prepare a less Draconian draft. This in the end Cornelius accepted, 
and the disreputable consul was able to leave as the monument of his 
office a Lex Calpurnia de ambitu a law which, besides mulcting 
offenders in a fine, excluded them from public life for ever. 

Cornelius could claim the credit for yet a third piece of salutary 
reform. In the course of their negotiations with the Senate, 
Gabinius and he were somehow led to challenge the right of that 
body to grant to individuals dispensation from the laws 1 . In 
earlier days such primlegia had been formulated by the Senate and 
then submitted to the People for approval; but in the heyday of 
senatorial supremacy this reference to an assembly had gradually 
fallen into disuse, Cornelius now came forward with the doctrine, 
unimpeachable in its logic, that, if the People made the law, the 
People alone could grant exemptions from its effect. Thus far his 
point is plain. But the Senate might also use its authority to tempt 
praetors to set aside their edicts ; and, if Cornelius was trying to 
prevent the passing of consulta such as that which confronted 
Cicero in 50 B.C. 2 , this measure must also be regarded as a rein- 
forcement of the Lex Cornelia on the praetorian courts. Again 
there was opposition, and it was on this occasion that Cornelius 
came into conflict with his colleague P. Servilius Globulus a 
conflict which later led to his prosecution on a charge of maiestas 
minuta (p. 475): but again, by consenting to compromise, he 
showed the sincerity of his desire for reform. His case was good, 
and had his aim been only to make trouble he might have raised 
a telling cry by obstinate refusal to yield. But Cornelius was no 
mere demagogue : realizing that even the smallest improvement is 
better than none, he agreed to a proposal that privilegia should be 
given by the Senate as hitherto, only with the provision^that two 
hundred members must be present at the vote. By this safeguard, 
at least the worst kind of hole-and-corner jobs would be prevented. 

1 The circumstances in which this question was raised are differently 
reported by Asconius (p. 58 a) and Dio (xxxvi, 39, 12). In the opinion 
of the present writer, the former is to be preferred : for another view see 
W. McDonald, The Tribunate of Cornelius in C.>. xxm, 1929, p. 20 i. 

2 ad j$tt+ V, 21, 12. 


Meanwhile Gabinius had been attacking on another front. 
Provincial communities and foreign States from time to time had 
business to lay before the Senate^ and these legitimate needs had 
been turned to lucrative account by various influential sections at 
Rome. Embassies arriving in the capital were met with a strange 
indifference. A favourable answer to their requests, even admission 
to the House, seemed impossible to obtain until it was borne in 
on the unhappy strangers that for sympathy with their case they 
must pay. Accordingly, large sums were borrowed from the 
moneylenders for bestowal on the magistrates and such other 
leading men as it might be necessary to buy. To end this mon- 
strous exploitation Gabinius introduced a bill in terms originally 
formulated, at least in outline, by Cornelius 1 : henceforward, to 
lend money to provincials in Rome was forbidden, and any loans 
so made in contravention of the statute were to be irrecoverable at 
law 2 . In vain the Fathers protested that a consultant of 94 B.C. was 
sufficient safeguard: Gabinius persisted and his measure was ac- 
cepted by the People. But by itself this was not enough. Bribery 
had been the normal means of access to the Senate, and it was idle 
to deprive ambassadors of the key to the Curia if the doors were 
to remain locked. So a second law was passed, probably in this 
same year 3 , to confirm an arrangement already recognized \ 
whereby during the month of February (and, in alternate years> 
during the intercalary month as well) the Senate was compelled 
to make the business of receiving embassies the first call on its 
time. Together these two measures constituted a reform which 
alone might mark its author as a worthy partner of Cornelius. 


But Gabinius has a higher claim to fame. Even at the beginning 
of 67 B.C. all other issues in public life had been overshadowed by 
the problem of the pirates. The spread of these pests and earlier 
attempts at their eradication are described elsewhere (pp. 350 $qq* y 
3$4-sg$S): by now the whole Mediterranean was in their hands, 
and the uncertainty of the corn-supply at Rome was reflected In 
a rise of price. When their pockets were touched, the voters 
showed a righteous determination that the freedom of the seas 

1 Asconius, p. 57 c. 2 Cicero, ad Att. vr, 2, 7. 

3 The only direct evidence for this law is a letter of Cicero's written in 
54 B.C. (ad ^.F, n* 1 3, 3), But its effect may perhaps be detected in February 
6 1 B.C. (Cicero, ad Att I, 14, 5), and its logical connection with the law 
about loans to provincials in Rome suggests that it was passed in the same 
year, 67 B.C. 4 Cicero, n in f^err. I, 35,